The weather this month has been severe, with brutally cold temperatures and snowy, windy conditions and many area residents have been busy helping create warmth to help others survive the harsh winter.
As a volunteer at Jubilee House, an outreach ministry of Grace Episcopal Church, Laura Otwell has been fortunate to meet many wonderful clients, volunteers and other members of the community.
“A stunning example of this occurred a few days before Christmas when a woman who only identified herself as Tammy stopped by and the clients at Jubilee House were blessed with good cheer in the true spirit of the season,” Laura wrote.
Tammy arrived with more than 30 bags she had put together filled with homemade baked goods, warm woolen socks, hats, gloves and scarves. She also had made cards to accompany every gift with well wishes for each recipient.
“Each gift bag was in memory of someone special who had touched Tammy’s life,” Laura wrote. “The bags were brought in and distributed to all who came in from the cold that day. All were thrilled and filled with joy to be thought of and remembered during the holidays with such an act of kindness.”
A donor provided 50 McDonald’s gift certificates to Love INC (In the Name of Christ) with the stipulation that they be given to patrons of Jubilee House to provide a warm meal or beverage. The patrons received the certificates and other items at a Christmas Eve service.
A representative of the Kingsley Lions Club called and wanted to thank all the people who donated to its hats, mittens and socks project. The club collected 100 complete sets that included a hat, mittens and a pair of socks, plus more hats and mittens.
“We were able to give these to many area children in need before Christmas,” the representative said.
Residents at Glen Eagle Retirement Community work on service projects year-round and are in need of donations of yarn.
The residents create items for Operation Christmas Child and make baby hats for Munson Medical Center’s newborns and babies in the Neonatal Unit. Yarn donations may be dropped off at Glen Eagle, 3950 Sumac Dr., off Silver Lake Road. For details, call April Putman, 935-4553.
Ericca Hovie, program coordinator at the Senior Center Network, was inspired by the children’s book “The Mitten Tree” by Candace Christiansen to set up a Mitten Tree in the main room of the Traverse City Senior Center at the beginning of December.
“I always loved the story as a child,” Ericca wrote. “I was inspired to create a tree for the seniors to donate hats, mittens and scarves to the needy in the community.”
Throughout December, more than 100 cold weather accessories were donated, including 57 hats, 45 scarves, 12 pairs of mittens and a few pairs of socks and arm warmers.
“These warm and wonderful accessories will be donated to the Goodwill Inn to be distributed to those in need in Traverse City,” Ericca wrote.
“We will surely put them to good use,” predicted Joanne Romanowski of the Goodwill Inn, shortly before extreme weather conditions and dangerously low temperatures hit the region earlier this month.