Holidays can be tough for those facing hard times, who may not have family nearby or even a home to celebrate in. At Rhinelander’s homeless shelter, community members and staff are doing their best to make Christmas a festive time.
Paper snowmen grace the windows at Frederick Place, and ornaments adorn a Christmas tree in the living room. Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing Director Tammy Modic says all the decorations are donated.
Grocery stores and shopping centers aren’t the only places seeing heavy traffic this time of year.
Rhinelander Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hansen says demand goes up during the holidays.
“Our business increases – we have a lot of people that come in, when they wouldn’t come in other times of the year, because they’re preparing for holidays, company and so on. And money’s always a little short at this time of the year.”
A youth program in Rhinelander is hosting two free gift wrapping nights. Young people who are turning to Forward Service Corporation for help finding jobs will be giving back to their community by wrapping presents for free.
Youth program coordinator Serena Adler says there are multiple benefits for the young gift wrappers.
November and December is a big time for shopping. It’s also a critical time for people who need assistance. The Rhinelander Salvation Army is seeking bell-ringers to stand outside big stores and collect donations.
WXPR’s Ken Krall sat down with coordinator Kim Swisher.
Swisher says 86 cents out of every dollar goes to help needy families in Rhinelander.