Nativities Around the World

—Fund-raising event for Howard County Hospice by area churches


CRESCO - Immanuel Lutheran Church and Notre Dame Catholic Church sponsor ‘Nativities Around the World’, a fund-raising event for Howard County Hospice Friday, Dec. 1, Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at 215 North Elm Street (next to Cresco Family Optometry).
Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Refreshments are available. Fair trade items are for sale, and a quilt raffle also benefits Howard County Hospice.
Howard County Hospice Spiritual Coordinator and Bereavement Coordinator Lisa Kammerer said more than 60 nativities from countries such as Ethiopia, India, Bethlehem, Vietnam and Haiti will be featured in the ‘Nativities Around the World’ display. Each nativity depicts the Christian story of Jesus’ birth in a manger using a variety of materials and artistic interpretation.
Kammerer said the display is a way to connect with the community for a good cause:
“This is the first time we’ve done Nativities Around The World as a hospice fund-raiser. We wanted to do something different for Christmas. We always have the dove memorial tree, but we wanted to do something we thought the community would enjoy, so we got a few people together, and we thought we could display the nativities and invite the community.
“One half of our storefront will be nativities on display, and they will have labels saying which countries they are from, the other half will have fairly traded handicrafts for sale,” Kammerer said, noting the fair trade designation means that artisans who made the crafts will receive a fair wage, and be able to support their families and send their children to school.
 She continued, “People can buy Christmas presents. There will be coffee and fair-traded chocolate, and we’ll have cookies, coffee and beverages for people to enjoy while they are viewing the nativities. We’ll also be raffling off quilts made at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation made by Lakota men and women. The big quilt is first prize, the wall hanging is second prize, and third prize will be a nativity ornament.”
 Raffle tickets are available at the hospice building or during the open house.
Kammerer said she was inspired to assist in organizing the event after collecting nativities from the countries where she and her husband adopted their children:
“For me, it started as we adopted children,” Kammerer said. “We wanted to buy things while in country to connect them to their heritage. One of the things we tried to buy at the different countries was a nativity, so that’s how it started. 
“Then, people started giving me nativities as gifts, and I started looking at other fairly traded organizations where I could get nativities from other countries, because I’m fascinated at the different representations and the different things they are made of, like recycled materials, recycled metal, and you also have things particular to the countries; the olive wood is particular to the Holy Land, Jerusalem. In Ethiopia, we purchased traditional Ethiopian drawings that are icons. Each country has its own twist; for instance, Peru adds llamas to their nativity,” she said.
Kammerer said the proceeds go to Howard County Hospice’s therapy programs:
“The funds raised for hospice go to our memorial fund, which is what we use to pay for our complimentary therapies. Massage therapy, healing touch, a musician, are all things not covered by Medicare that hospice pays for. That helps us give those services to patients,” she said.
Kammerer said memorial doves will still be available to purchase.
“The memorial dove tree will be at the Cresco Fitness Center, but the weekend of Nativities Around the World, we will have it at 215 North Elm Street,” she said. “We’ll bring the ornaments here to display.”
Howard County Hospice accepts volunteers, Kammer-er said. Volunteers must go through training, and can assist with light housekeeping, taking people to their medical appointments or if they have a C.N.A. background, feed patients. She said hospice also offers a spiritual art session once per month at each of the nursing facilities, and also utilizes a visiting pet program. If interested in volunteering with Howard County Hospice call 563-547-2989.
In the meantime, Kammerer said she is looking forward to showing the community the diverse selection of nativities at the fund raiser Dec. 1, 2 and 3, and also thanks Kip Powers for the use of the building in which to display them:
“We thought this would be a neat way to give back to the community this Christmas, help people do a little Christmas shopping, and help support hospice,” she said.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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