The Story of the Giving Trees

For years in Cochrane, a business named Winters Photographic (located in the Safeway mall) ran a ‘Giving Tree’ event in-store that helped the Cochrane Activettes collect donations for their ‘Share Your Christmas’ campaign.

The premise: Visit their store and the Giving Tree, grab a tag (or two or three!) from the tree and to return your donated gift item(s) back to the store by a certain date. All the items were then given to the Activettes for their Christmas hampers.

“This first began because many people in Cochrane wanted to donate, but were stuck on the ‘what to buy’? This helped to remove barriers, so that people could donate. A photo store in California, ‘Fullerton Photographics’ had a similar idea and we stole it! With the owners permission 🙂! Thanks Gaby for letting us take your idea and run with it… our community has been benefitting for 8 years now.”

add Jennifer Winter, co-owner of Winters Photographics

In 2019, Winters Photographic decided it was time to retire and to close up shop (much to our sadness); however that meant their much needed initiative would need to find a new home.

We (Urban Casual) were extremely honoured when the owners of Winters asked US to take on their yearly ‘Giving Tree’ program. Our only problem??

We were ‘store-less’ and had no where to host our tree, so we changed up the ‘Giving Tree’ initiative to be more inclusive and easier to access, by partnering up with local businesses to have MANY trees in Cochrane.

We need your help Cochrane!


Are you a Cochrane business that will have a tree set up in your store or office?

Are you a Cochrane business who is willing to hold onto the returned items for donation in a safe and secure location until pick-up (intervals)?

IF you answered YES to these questions, we’d love to come and add our GIVING TREE tags to your tree for the public to come and collect.

This serves to WIN in two ways:

  1. You’ll expose your business to new potential customers, by being an option to pick up and return tag items. It’ll be fun to see so many new faces!
  2. We’ll happily share the word about your business participating and give you the advertising you need to get more customers.

To participate in this years GIVING TREES OF COCHRANE 2022, please email: and put the words ‘Giving Tree’ in the subject line.

Let’s help share our Christmas with Cochranites in need!