A hat and mitten tree is located outside the Modern Woodmen office, near the intersection of Mill and Spring Streets, in an effort to give a warm gift to those in need.
Cassandra Schmidt said she put the tree up on Jan. 1 and 50 were taken so far. The tree has hats, mittens and earmuffs for women, men and children.
Adult items have been very popular, Schmidt said.
Schmidt said she saw a similar idea on social media and knew it would fit into the giving spirit of Modern Woodmen.
“I thought it was the neatest idea and just wanted to do it,” Schmidt said.
Modern Woodmen helps people plan for retirement, insure their family and help the community.
“Chapters provide opportunities for Modern Woodmen members of all ages to learn, socialize and volunteer in our local community,” Schmidt said. “I am the fraternal leader for the local chapter and love every minute of it. I am always looking for new ways to help.”
Schmidt said she asked Brian Flick, who has created a lot of the decorations for the Beaver Dam Rotary Lights in Swan City Park, to help with the tree. He made the template, but Schmidt said she was able to cut out the tree herself. Her family helped with finishing it and bagging up the items that hang from the tree.
“I try to fill it up every night,” Schmidt said.
The original items came from the service project for Modern Woodmen, but Schmidt said that she has had people offer to bring items for the tree including a woman who will be dropping off handmade hats.
Schmidt said she plans to keep the tree up as long as she has things to put up on it and it remains cold.
Anyone who wants to donate new or like new items for the tree can contact Schmidt at 920-306-2948 or by email at Cassandra.L.Schmidt@mwarep.org.