OCEAN GROVE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It’s not Christmas yet, but some festive trees showed up in Ocean Grove this with messages of hope and charity.

“Kindness is like confetti… Blessings to all… love your neighbor… tolerance,” said Maureen Keane.

(credit: CBS2)

These are just some of the positive words written on streamers hanging from trees on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Butterflies represent hope and renewal.

Maureen Keane organized “The Giving Tree Of Hope” event along with Steve Mandeville, owner of the Emporium store.

“We wanted to give hope, encouragement and just a big hug to our community,” Keane said.

“People need a little different right now because life is different right now,” said Mandeville.

Visitors to the Jersey Shore town are asked to write down a special message for all going through these trying times.

“Stay strong, you are loved,” read Keane.


“A way to put into the universe people’s prayers and wishes and ideas,” said Mandeville.

The tie-in to Christmas – the emporium is also collecting unwrapped toys to donate to the Jersey Shore Dream Center in Neptune.

“So all the toys collected go right into our neighborhood,” Keane said.

They have already received more than 100 toys, and will be collecting through November.

“Every Saturday and Sunday we’ll be out here. We have hot apple cider, we have champagne, candy all kinds of treats,” Keane said.

Keane invites all to come out and write a positive thought for the future.

The volunteers are collecting monetary donations, unwrapped toys for younger children and gift cards for older children. You get 15% off at the Emporium store with every donation.

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