The day after the Oct. 20 tornado, 7-year-old Brinley Smith walked outside to see a fallen tree blocking her family’s driveway and even more trees knocked down throughout her neighborhood on Waggoner Drive. “It made me feel sad, and I wanted to do something about it,” she says.
The second grader at Parish Episcopal School has since launched Kids Luv Trees with the help of her parents, Brian and Crystal Smith. They plan to partner with Texas Trees Foundation and RETREET to raise money and plant trees in neighborhoods affected by the storm.
Brinley wants to involve children in the effort. Her ideas for raising money include launching a talent show, lemonade stands and a dance party. Kids will canvas the neighborhood to solicit donations and sign up neighbors who lost trees and want help planting new ones. While the Smiths are reaching out to private schools to coordinate efforts, the Texas Trees Foundation and Groundwork Dallas will focus on involving students in Dallas ISD schools.
Crystal envisions engaging students who need community service hours and reaching out to faith-based groups as well as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. “We want to make it a community-wide fundraising and planting event so that we can come together and heal,” she says.
The family, including son, Preston, has lived in Preston Hollow for five and a half years. They noticed that catastrophic weather events brought neighbors together. Brinley was so moved by the experience that she drew the concept for a Kids Luv Trees logo, which will be given to designers for further development. The illustration depicts a tree surrounded by children from different countries.
“Trees are beautiful and they make oxygen for us,” she says.
For more information, visit KidsLuvTrees.org or email info@KidsLuvTrees.org.