Krista Simonds and her 6-year-old son, Trevor, were tired of staring across the living room at each other one Sunday afternoon. So Krista suggested they embark on a creative project and make a Christmas wreath.
Trevor’s first wreath was such a success that his mother encouraged him to make more and sell them. And when he excitedly accepted her suggestion to use the money to help someone else out during the holidays, what started as way to pass time turned into a quest that will change at least two lives this Christmas season.
Once the word spread, orders started flowing in, and Trevor, with Krista’s assistance, made and sold more than 50 wreaths and used the money to adopt two children through a Salvation Army holiday program, purchasing gifts for a boy between 5 and 7 years old and a girl who is 1 1/2.
“I’m sponsoring a kid for Christmas and making his wish come true,” Trevor said. “I just want to care about people.”
You can almost hear the chorus of “awws.”
When Krista initially suggested they create a wreath together that Sunday afternoon, Trevor’s first question was admittedly a good one – he asked Krista if she knew how to make one.
“I said no. But we went outside and got some clippings from the trees and watched some YouTube videos,” Krista said.
Humble beginnings indeed. But orders that began to trickle in from family and friends quickly started streaming from all directions, and before long the pair was working almost every night on the project. For the better part of the last month, every doorway and available inch of wall space in Krista’s house has been occupied by wreaths of all different colors and designs.
People began ordering specific colors and layouts, and Trevor was more than happy to oblige, noting that one featuring gold snowflakes and a gold bow was his favorite.
“When he first made one I said, this is beautiful, you could make them and sell them,” Krista said. “Like any 6-year-old, he was first thinking about big stuff like what can I buy for myself, but I made the simple comment to think about those who don’t have anything, and he said he wanted to buy gifts for someone for Christmas.”
The project has turned Trevor, who weeks ago was just another Penacook Elementary School student, into something of a local celebrity, earning him time on the airwaves at WKXL and WJYY and making him the star of a Facebook page (Wreaths by Trevor).
Through it all, though, the focus has been on the people being helped by the project.
“I used to be a community involvement coordinator at my job, so he sees how important it is and he’s been involved in stuff before,” Krista said. “But for him to take it on himself . . . there are days when I will be heading out to the woods to grab materials and think, do I really have to go out and get this stuff, but I think about what he’s doing and it’s easy.”
The first child they sponsored was the young boy, for whom they purchased scarves, a sled, Spider-Man gloves and hat and a Spider-Man spy set. Once they had enough to sponsor another child they added the little girl, who will receive what Trevor called “some cute dresses,” as well as puzzles, games, toys and a baby doll.
For Krista, who has Trevor and his 2-year-old brother, Cameron, at home, going shopping for a girl was an entertaining experience.
“I don’t get to do the little girl shopping,” she said, “so that was kind of fun.”
Trevor is still the same 6-year old he was before –- he kicked off his youth basketball career last weekend and spent much of the time during his interview anxiously awaiting the end –- but knowing he has been involved with the community at such an emotional and meaningful level at an early age has certainly helped ease his mother into the holiday spirit.
“Just knowing he’s doing good out there, showing other people how important it is, it means a lot,” Krista said. “You don’t have to have money, you just have to have a heart.”