Headwaters ‘elves’ craft Christmas gifts, spread cheer
By Eileen Persike
The past year has been a challenging one for many people, in a variety ways and for countless reasons. But a group of day services participants at Headwaters, Inc. in Rhinelander wants the community to end the year with a note of cheer.
They have crafted and packaged Christmas gifts available in a Little Library-turned-gift station outside the Headwaters building on Timber Drive. The idea was the brainchild of Krystal Barlowski, a day services employee.
“She is a very creative person, loves to do crafty things, and thought this would be a really great way for people to give back this year, when so many people are struggling so much,” said Jennifer Felty, Headwaters executive director.
The gifts are free and are meant for kids in the community who might not have anything to give friends and family members. They are available 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Barlowski was intent on using things that could be found in the building and around her home, Felty said, so it was a great
reduce, reuse, recycle project. The gifts, some of which are interactive, are made with such things as wood scraps cut by staff members into various shapes, paint, clothes pins and other items. A large craft room was set up so participants could drop in and work on things when they wanted.
“People were really excited about it,” Felty said. “There were some who wanted to do it every day they were here, and others did it for one or two days and were done.”
Headwaters, Inc., a non-profit agency that provides community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, brain injuries, physical disabilities, serious and persistent mental illness and children with special needs throughout northern Wisconsin. For more information, visit headwatersinc.org.