On Saturday, December 3rd, the auditorium at Little Sisters of the Poor in Oregon, was turned into Santa’s workshop while 17 people attended a workshop on making a Fresh Holiday Wreath for attendees to take home. This was set up as a fund raiser for the Little Sisters by OSU Extension, Lucas County and the Master Gardener Volunteer Program. Organized by myself, the workshop was led by Wendy Kenyon & Carol Schaefer.
You could smell “Christmas” when you walked through the main entrance and were greeted with a fresh evergreen smell. The greens were donated by Duke Wheeler from the Whitehouse Christmas Tree Farm. Barb Northrup & co-worker Lee Richter harvested the greens on Friday a.m., and delivered these Friday afternoon.
In addition to the attendees, various residents joined the session. Unfortunately, due to fire regulations, the residents were not allowed to keep any of the wreaths for on their doors. However, a few volunteers made special swags and hung them on an outdoor railing. One resident, Jeannette Freiheit made her own wreath and is planning on giving it to a family member to enjoy. Another resident, Clare Horvath purchased a wreath to also give as a holiday present.
Master Gardener Volunteer Roberta Hobbs, performed beautiful photographic services showing each attendee with the results of their labors. When the workshop was over, attendees started talking about how to make this an even better event for 2012, advertising in local churches, flyers at LSOP for visitors, and many other marketing ideas. We will be making this an annual event, as it was enjoyed by all. Some attendees even commented that we should charge more money next year to make the fund raiser even more profitable.
OSU Extension Lucas County has enjoyed a working collaboration with LSOP as a result of The Ohio State University’s President E Gordon Gee’s football gaffe. When President Gee visited LSOP in August, local OSU Extension staff were on hand to see what programs we could offer the residents. Jay Gerken has been involved teaching nutrition classes for the residents, and Barb Northrup of the Consumer Horticulture Program has committed to holding fund raisers. The wreath workshop was the first fund raiser, followed by a Winter Tree ID program to be offered in February, along with a pruning workshop where attendees would assist the grounds staff by practicing their new pruning techniques they’ve learned.
Every time I visit LSOP I end up crying at one point listening to Sr. Cecilia talk about their mission. What these sisters and staff do for the residents has really affected me personally. I am constantly humbled, and will continue to make LSOP one of my favorite charities.
Attendees paid a $15.00 workshop fee, which included all materials, bows, pine cones, and other trinkets donated by Lucas County Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV). After all supplies had been covered, the workshop raised $250.00 for the sisters, and we agreed to match the fees from the OSU Extension, Lucas County MGV fund. A check has been forwarded for $500.00 to help make the holidays a little brighter. In addition to the $500.00, in-kind donations (employee’s time, travel expenses, etc.) represent an additional $270.00 making OSU Extension Lucas County’s commitment $770.00.