During these tough economic times, it's rare to find a company - especially a small, local business - that donates a portion of its proceeds to community causes.
One such local business, run by a Redwood City family, is Honey Bear Trees (HBT) holiday tree lot.
HBT partners with roughly 45 local Redwood City and San Carlos schools to donate 15 percent of its proceeds each year.
"The money helps to pay for arts and other programs that most schools can't afford to pay for right now, and are having to cut," said Aaron Boyle, owner of HBT, who lives with his family in Redwood City.
To let local parents know about HBT's donation pledge each year, Boyle said he pays to have big signs made that he hangs himself at local schools.
The signs cost him roughly $70 each to have made - therefore, Boyle told Patch Thursday it dealt a significant blow to HBT's pocketbooks when seven of his newly-made and hung signs were stolen Friday by an unknown thief.
Boyle said he finished hanging the seven signs at local locations near schools - such as one at Kennedy Middle School, one on El Camino Real near Sequoia High School, one at Henry Ford Elementary, one at Roosevelt School, and others - around 8 p.m. Friday night. He snapped a few photos after hanging some of the signs, as shown in the photos section of this article.
The next morning Boyle took a walk through his neighborhood, and noticed one of the signs missing.
It didn't take him long to confirm that all seven signs were gone, and to confirm that it was not the doing of anyone affiliated with the schools.
"At first I thought maybe it was a janitor or school facilities manager or someone like that, who might have seen the signs and thought they shouldn't be there," Boyle said. "But it wasn't."
"The schools are very supportive of the program, and they're just as upset as we are that the signs were taken," he continued.
Boyle consulted the Redwood City Police Department, but unfortunately there are no leads so far in the theft.
Anyone who thinks they might have seen anything or anyone suspicious with regards to the signs is asked to call RCPD immediately at 650-780-7100.
A Long History of Giving Back
Over the years, HBT has donated more than $31,000 to local schools, nonprofits, churches and more.
In addition to selling trees, HBT also offers wreaths and mistletoe, and offers services such as delivering trees to your home, and picking up and recycling trees, anywhere in the Greater Bay Area, from San Francisco to San Jose.
Oh, and - of course - there's the fact that every holiday tree purchased from HBT comes with a complimentary jar of honey! HBT's name was inspired by a man named Hans who started the tree lot next to his bee farm. Hans would sometimes sell trees from his lot to local families during the holidays, and he always gave a jar of his homemade honey with each tree.
Today, Boyle continues that tradition at HBT's two lots at 955 Woodside Road in Redwood City and 1579 El Camino Real in San Carlos.
The Redwood City lot opens on Nov. 17, and the San Carlos lot on Nov. 23.
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