Mary Malott: Sharing blessings

Mary Malott (Our York Media)

The evergreen tree sits against the brick building with the most unusual decorations. A plaid scarf. A pair of black gloves. White socks. Mixed nuts, little cans of Vienna sausages paired with a plastic fork, even a fresh, hardboiled egg hang in bags from its branches.

The Blessing Tree will soon be bare. The gifts left on its artificial branches or in boxes at its base are picked up by those who need them most.

As the owner of Coffee, Teas and Thee on South Pershing Avenue in York, Mary Malott wanted to leave an impact on the community she has come to love so much. But the idea for the tree came from a volunteer who helps her in the kitchen.

“It’s been a beautiful blessing, not only to those who pick from its branches but to me.”

“I couldn’t say ‘no,'” Mary says, smiling, surrounded by tea cups and china. “It’s been a beautiful blessing, not only to those who pick from its branches but to me.”

Many people will give Mary items to hang on the tree. She’s got a handful of scarves she’s been holding all summer to wait for a chill in the air. Many of the items are gifts, given from strangers to people they may never know.

But Mary has met enough of them to know that a small blessing can go a long way. A man stood on the sidewalk Saturday, waiting for Mary to come by so he could say, “thank you.” Another woman pops in frequently to give a hug and tell Mary that when she was homeless that tree meant a lot.

Maybe it’s a chance to give all year long, Mary says, and share the blessings she’s been given.

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