Seasonal projects benefit others

SLEEPY EYE – Two 4-H projects collaborating with Sleepy Eye Public School, St. Mary’s School and church and the Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce are benefitting the needy this year.

The Stark Happy Hustlers 4-H Club began working on a Birthday Box Project that started as Tia Cselovszki’s Sleepy Eye High School class project last winter. The project promoting community service and donations to the needy evolved into a 4-H club community pride effort after Cselovszki received a $900 Minnesota State 4-H Council Helping Hands Grant.

A freshman majoring in social work and music at Southwest State University, Marshall, Cselovszki said the project includes a box and birthday party supplies. Cake mix, frosting, aluminum pan, candles, balloons, plates, plastic utensils, napkins, a small toy gift and 4-H promotional items are gift-wrapped and labeled for boys and girls up to age 12.

More than two dozen birthday boxes were delivered to the Sleepy Eye Area Food shelf last Friday. Materials are available for more than two dozen more boxes.

“It’s nice that the school is involved with our project,” said Cselovszki who came up with the project idea.

Stark Happy Hustlers 4-H Club members Rebecca and Brandon Schmitz and Catholic Financial Life are collecting packages of new socks and underwear as well as new or gently used coats, hats, mittens and scarves of all sizes to send to the Rochester St. Vincent DePaul Society. The society is a national organization that aids people struggling with homelessness, job loss and other difficulties.

Donations can be dropped off at St. Mary’s Church and the Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce office through Dec. 31.

Other projects

Santa’s Closet serves children up to age 14 whose names have been referred by Brown County Family Services and area churches. Parents are given the opportunity to select a toy, books, hats and mittens for their child.

In addition, KNUJ and Cash Wise sponsor a Tree of Christmas Wishes that enables people to select a bell from the tree and purchase a toy and return it unwrapped to Cash Wise.

Last year, the Santa’s Closet served 605 area people. The New Ulm Sertoma Club is accepting monetary donations for Santa’s Closet through Dec. 31. Donations can be sent to Sertoma Club, P.O. Box 692, New Ulm, MN 56073. Toys were distributed for the 2013 season on Dec. 14.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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