TRAVERSE CITY — Josh Crawford can’t wait to see the look on his mom’s face when she opens the Mother’s Day card he plans to give her on Sunday.
He picks a special card every year, but this time he had a hand in making it.
“It is beautiful and unique, plus I have a special gift for her,” said Crawford, 32, who works at Paperworks Studio where his card of choice was created using recycled fibers.
Paperworks, a nonprofit program of Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, produces one-of-a-kind cards handmade by artists who have special needs and disadvantages. The Mother’s Day cards they are offering this season are the result of a collaboration between Paperworks, Special Olympics Michigan and the visual information technology program at the TBA-ISD Career Tech Center.
“Many of our workers, like Josh, are Special Olympic athletes. When they come in here with their gold medals hanging around their necks, it is an exciting thing,” said Brian Lewis, director of sales and business development for Paperworks.
That’s why Lewis jumped at the chance when he was approached about collaborating to produce a card as a fundraiser for both organizations.
“It seems like a natural fit, for us to be working together,” said John Casteel, Special Olympics area director for the local five-county region.
“Most people don’t realize that the 240 athletes in our area participate in 11 sports throughout the year. It is not just a twice-a-year event and it takes a lot of support,” he said.
Casteel also approached CTC teacher Julie Orr, whose students have done graphic design work for Special Olympics in the past, to see if they would design a card with moms in mind.
“We brainstormed ideas about what made us think of mothers; my mom enjoys butterflies” said senior Rachael McDaniel, who also attends Traverse City West Senior High.