Hurst sells wreaths for the Women’s Center

Laren Reesman, Staff writer

There are always opportunities, especially during the holidays, to donate time or money for a community cause. With this spirit of giving Mercyhurst is taking orders for Christmas wreaths that are both environmentally positive and locally generous.

The 22-inch wreaths are priced at $30, and payment is due on the day of delivery. Orders are due Nov. 4 by 4:00 pm. They will be delivered the first week of December.

All proceeds go to the Mercy Center for Women, a non-profit in Erie that uses these funds to operate.

The wreaths themselves are handmade using Noble fir branches from Sherwood Forest Farms in Washington state. Pinecones also appear on the wreath along with a red ribbon tied at the top.

Sherwood Forest Farms uses ethical and sustainable tree harvesting practices and offers these wreaths as natural, somewhat nostalgic decorations.

This wreath sale began a few years back, and the supplier was chosen specifically to uphold Sister of Mercy values of being environmentally conscious.

The Mercy Center for Women is involved in several fundraising initiatives over the holidays aside from the wreath sales.

One initiative is the “Holiday Wish List” where community members can adopt a family or an individual at the Mercy Center to provide Christmas needs in the form of gifts. Contact information and a complete list of gift ideas can be found on the website.

Mercyhurst will be involved in more community initiatives like this as the holidays approach as well. Campus Ministry and other clubs allow students to actively participate in these community initiatives.

For example, the Education Department usually participates in the Polar Plunge, a local fundraiser for autism.

The Mercy Center for Women, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, was founded in 1994 to provide “long-term transitional housing and support services to homeless women with or without children.”

The Mercy Center combines Hope House and Grass Roots Opportunities for Women to offer a practical facility and outreach.

The center provides four core services for homeless women. They offer safe and supportive housing, OVR and/or GED education, life skills like parenting, and meaningful network connections with other agencies and volunteers.

The institution is a second chance for many women struggling with single motherhood, poverty, or addiction.

The center accommodates anywhere from 27 to 34 residents at any point with 17 bedrooms.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from initiatives like the Mercy Center for Women and fundraisers like this wreath sale is the sense of community and charity that does not go unnoticed by these women and families who rely on the center for some assistance during difficult times.

With Mercyhurst’s close ties to the Sisters of Mercy, this is the perfect fundraiser and charitable start to the holiday season while enjoying a festive handmade wreath.

They would make great ornamentation for dormitory or apartment doors, perfect for roommates to pitch in and buy a meaningful holiday decoration for a good cause.