Caregivers at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital have poured their hearts and strength into navigating through the twists and turns of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Friday afternoon, some of those same caregivers were treated to a much-needed lift.
Bartlett Tree Experts donated 50 seedlings to the hospital as staff claimed nearly all of the Carolina Buckthorns and Chinkapin Oak trees on a first-come, first-serve basis in less than 30 minutes.
"Bartlett Tree Experts has been a longtime community partner of ours and the donation of trees to our staff is another great example of that," said John Massimilla, chief operating officer and vice president of administration for WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital.
Health care workers flocked to a maintenance shed at the rear of the hospital around noon on Friday to select a tree that brought smiles to many of their faces.
Brad Evans, local manager at Bartlett Tree Experts, said that the donation isn’t only a show of appreciation for those who have battled on the front lines of COVID-19, but also a healthy outlet.
“Landscaping has been a bright spot mentally and physically for a lot of people during this time,” Evans said.
He said he got the idea from one of his company’s New York locations which donated seedlings to a hospital. Bartlett Tree Expert’s legacy program has donated more than 274,000 seedlings across the United States since 2014.
Bartlett Tree Experts has been taking care of the trees on the grounds of WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital for more than 25 years, according to Evans.
He said that the seedlings are 2-to-3 years old and were being developed in a nursery. The Carolina Buckthorns ranged from 12-to-18 inches in height, while the Chinkapin Oak trees were as long as three feet.
“Planting trees and doing more landscaping is the kind of stuff that some people may not be doing if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic. More people are taking pleasure in their landscape,” said Evans, who has worked at Bartlett Tree Experts for 25 years.
He added that garden centers across the area have been swarmed with customers throughout the past few weeks.
Bartlett Tree Experts also plans to donate trees to WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital and WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital in the coming weeks.
“This is kind of an outlet for people and we are hoping the trees we donated can help,” Evans said.