The current state of our world is one we have not experienced before. The coronavirus has wreaked havoc over the past few months, and altered not only the present, but the future as well. With COVID comes an obligation to take on new precautions necessary for day to day life. It takes time, money and sacrifice as we reshape the way in which we live.

With all that is going on, it is easy to overlook the people and organizations who have worked so hard to make this difficult time as safe as possible. Overcoming this pandemic cannot be done alone. Rather than letting this obstacle overcome us, the young people in Stowe have risen to the challenge and proven that strength comes from generous acts.

In order to see a change and help people in need, it is crucial to support relief organizations in any way you can. All of the stores selling the products made by local students are giving 100 percent of the proceeds to the selected charities. Through the generous acts of the young people in our community, each of us can contribute to positive change by shopping for these handmade gifts during this holiday season.

Hope Hats

Katie Ziegler and her family have helped to support different causes over the years, whether through fundraisers or community service. As things have gotten more challenging, Katie stepped up to help, saying, “We have been through difficult times as a family, and we know first hand how much of an impact kindness, generosity and community support can have on people’s lives.”

After choosing the Stowe C19 Relief Fund, to help people facing financial insecurities during this time, Katie and her family made over 500 Hope Hats.

These hats are made with different types of acrylic or wool yarn woven through a knitting loom. Yarn pom poms have been added onto each hat after being shaved down into a perfect shape. Along with the pom poms, leather tags with wording, either burnt or stamped, gives the hats a final touch.

“Making the hats was a fun and safe way that our family could help give back to a community that has always been there for us. We feel very fortunate to be a part of a community that works hard to take care of each other.”

Sold at The Body Lounge, Bunya Bunya, In Company, Yellow Turtle, Pinnacle Ski & Sports

Benefits Stowe C19 Relief Fund


Grace Taylor, an 8th grader at Stowe Middle School, decided to take her interest in jewelry-making to the next step and created birthstone necklaces to help fundraise for local charities. Grace is donating a portion of her profits to Clarina Howard Nichols Center.

“I really felt it was important to help women and children who have gone through a hard time,” she said.

After an intrigue in metal stamping, Grace decided to align the designs with birthstones of each month and created the necklaces herself. The simple stamps and colorful gems make for an eye-catching set of options, all being made and sold for a great cause.

Sold at Yellow Turtle

Benefits Clarina Howard Nichols Center

Mask Clips

Juliette Hoder, a 16-year-old former Stowe High School student, worked on making mask clips, colorful accessories to help hold a mask like a necklace. When deciding what organization she wanted to send her profits to, “the Vermont Food Bank was directly who we thought of. They are really doing an incredible job all year around for the community and especially during this difficult time.” Juliette made $400 with her mask clips and sent the check to the Vermont Food Bank before leaving for school.

With Juliette’s departure, her clip making was passed on to Emma Yardley, 5th grade, and Caroline O’Reilly, 6th grade. Sophie Hoder, Juliette’s mother, thought the girls would be up to the task to take over and they agreed. Since then, the girls have been making themed mask chains, with animals, sports and more.

Sold at Yellow Turtle

Benefits Vermont Food Bank


Lane Dreslin, a past junior at Stowe High, spent her time making bracelets by hand after being inspired by the inspirational signs left around the town. She used string ordered online and opted for “stones instead of plastic beads or other charms because the stones held specific meanings; for instance, sunstone is the stone of leadership and rose quartz is the stone of universal love.”

The bracelets are colorful, lightweight and easily adjustable, making them a universal fit, as well as offering a variety of choices. Although Lane had to head to boarding school in the fall, her bracelets are still being sold throughout the holiday season.

Sold at Yellow Turtle

Benefits Stowe C19 Relief Fund

Morgan McKenna is a sophomore at Stowe High School.

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