K.I. Sawyer family makes and sells candles to benefit U.P. foster children

All of the proceeds from candle sales go towards birthday presents for foster children
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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K.I. SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) - While candles have always been used to combat the dark, for social worker Barb Olsen, they provide a different kind of light.

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

Then, an idea. Over the last six weeks, the family has created at least 60 candles to sell, the proceeds of which will go towards birthday presents for kids within Child and Family Services of the U.P.

“There are kids that don’t receive anything for their birthday,” Olsen stated. “And so this is very important to us that everybody feel special on their special day.”

The foster agency’s executive director, Sara Miller, says there are at least 55 kids in their care, and that it is important for all of them to be celebrated.

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

So far, Olsen has sold her candles through a couple of local businesses and Facebook Marketplace, raising at least $130. Because of the effort, the first birthday present is going to be given in November.

“It means a lot to us to see anybody in the community stepping up and helping us with our kiddos,” Miller stated. “We’re very grateful for Barb on many levels.”

Olsen hopes to sell candles at other venues, stores, and future craft fairs. For now, she and her family have no intention of stopping.

If we could do every foster child in the U.P. on their birthday, I think I would be ecstatic at the end of the year.”

Olsen and Miller are looking for donations of anything resembling a candleholder and used or unused unscented wax. Those items can be scent to Child and Family Services of the U.P.’s Marquette Office, located at 706 Chippewa Square.

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