Dunwoody’s Wishing Tree becomes place of hope for many

“To be vulnerable, to write it down and just, you know, let the tree take care of it.”
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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DUNWOODY, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Years ago, Janey and Andrew Hoag started a tradition for their young daughters. They wanted their girls to start thinking of others, early. The Wishing Tree was born. When their girls grew up, Janey and Andrew kept the tree going.

“They are not writing anything political, they are not writing anything contentious. With all the things that you see in the news and all the tough stories out there....people see this as a way to separate from all of that and just have a positive thought,” said Andrew Hoag.

The tree is draped with strings of laminated tags. On each tag, someone has written down their wish; sometimes the wish is for themselves, and other times the wish is for someone else. There are jars underneath the tree. People can stop by, grab a marker and tag, write down their wish, and then put their tag into a jar. Every week or so, Andrew empties the jar, laminates the tags, and hangs the wishes from a tree.

“I think, if people trust the tree, then they are trusting us to support them in their wishing, and I think our family does a pretty good job of that,” said Janey Hoag.

There must be hundreds of wishes already there.

“It is an anonymous way to think about somebody. A way to write something positive and get it out into the world without making a big deal about it,” said Andrew.

The Wishing Tree is in the Village Mill neighborhood in Dunwoody.

“It is a perfect mess. It is not tidy and landscaped, but I like it like that,” said Janey.