'Women of Steel' provide a van load of gifts to Outreach Center
Turns out the "Women of Steel" actually have very soft hearts. The women of the United Steel Workers Local 11-63 at Sappi Fine Paper and Local 970 at Jarden Home Brands, both of Cloquet, wanted to help those in need during the holiday season, but...
Turns out the "Women of Steel" actually have very soft hearts.
The women of the United Steel Workers Local 11-63 at Sappi Fine Paper and Local 970 at Jarden Home Brands, both of Cloquet, wanted to help those in need during the holiday season, but also wanted to avoid the traditional food and toy drive events. So, during a union meeting in Hinckley last November, the "Women of Steel" as they refer to themselves, decided to help out Cloquet's Outreach Center. The Outreach Center's mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals with mental illness.
Immediately, the women began to gather donations of toiletries, food and Christmas gifts for the Outreach Center. They stuffed stockings and wrapped presents for the Outreach Christmas party, and the rest of the donated gifts and items were for everyday use Outreach use.
"Folks need personal items like shampoo and soap every day. That's why we wanted a big part of the donations to be things like that," said 11-63's Kathleen Kraklau. "Before we even started the drive, I went to the Outreach Center and presented them with the idea, and they at first were kind of stunned that we thought of them, and of course thought it was a great idea. So we thought we'd try it and see how it goes. It worked out great."
As Kraklau and fellow female steelworkers unloaded their onslaught of donated items from their van to the main hallway in the Outreach Center, Human Development Center Program Director Kim Matteen stood there in awe of their work.
"The Women of Steel wanted to do something different to help others in our community this holiday season, and it was great watching them haul in all these boxes for the people here," said Matteen. "I commend them for choosing the Outreach Center and the people we serve to receive their gifts of toiletries and household goods."
The clever packaging also made Matteen feel like the Women of Steel really put extra thought and time into their giving spirit, which she says everyone at the Outreach Center, employees, clients and volunteers -- is grateful for.
"The gifts were awesome and they were things everyone could use," said Matteen. "They even put the items in Christmas stockings - how clever! It was a very nice touch and a whole lot of hard work went into this project. The Women of Steel really managed to 'steel' our hearts at the Outreach Center this Christmas!"
Pine Journal Editor Mat Gilderman can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org .