The KI Sawyer family makes and sells candles to benefit foster children UP


KI SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) – While candles have always been used to fight the dark, for social worker Barb Olsen they provide a different kind of light.

“My {foster} daughter, my granddaughter and I were trying to find a way to bond together,” said Olsen. “We had the idea of ​​making candles. and then we had so many that we didn’t know what to do.

Then an idea. In the past six weeks, the family has created at least 60 candles for sale, the proceeds of which will go towards birthday gifts for children within UP Child and Family Services.

“There are kids who don’t get anything for their birthday,” Olsen said. “And so it’s very important to us that everyone feels special on their special day.”

Host agency executive director Sara Miller says there are at least 55 children in their care and it is important that they all be celebrated.

“Children’s milestones are important,” Miller said. “Whether it’s a birthday or Christmas, these milestones mean something.”

So far, Olsen has sold his candles through a few local businesses and Facebook Marketplace, raising at least $ 130. Due to the effort, the first birthday present will be given in November.

“It means a lot to us to see someone in the community step up and help us with our children,” Miller said. “We are very grateful to Barb on many levels. “

Olsen hopes to sell candles in other places, stores and future craft fairs. For now, she and her family have no plans to stop.

If we could accommodate each child in UP foster care on their birthday, I think I would be delighted at the end of the year.

Olsen and Miller are seeking donations of anything resembling a candle holder and unscented wax that may or may not be used. These items can be scented at Child and Family Services at the UP’s Marquette office, located at 706 Chippewa Square.

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