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A genius, dignified way to help the homeless this winter


The “Free on a Tree” Initiative is keeping people toasty in the coldest months.

As a result of the flooding that hit Tasmania, many people were left without winter coats. In response to the need of so many around him, 10-year-old Oliver Edwards launched an initiative called “Free on a Tree” to leave winter coats on trees around his community in Hobart, Tasmania, for anyone who needs one.

It all started when Edwards when was given a homework assignment to come up with an idea for something to contribute to the community. His mother, Cathy, had been discussing homelessness with him, prompting him to invent the Free on a Tree project. Friends and family members donated coats to the project, and now the project has donation points all around the area.

Oliver and Cathy say that they put thought into where they leave the coats, choosing spots where the coats will be found but won’t stand out too much. “Just trying to make it accessible and also give people a little bit of privacy around taking a coat. It’s not always easy to ask for help,” Cathy explained.

Read more: Have you tried these small gestures to help the homeless?

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