Publisher’s Perspective

Chad Koenen

The little things in life can oftentimes leave the biggest impression. Take for example the impact left by Donna Geiser when the longtime volunteer visits elementary school students in East Otter Tail County to share about the importance of recycling. Both of my daughters have had the opportunity to learn about recycling, as well as how recycled items can help to keep our planet cleaner for future generations, from Geiser.

Her presentation, which includes a number of local volunteers, isn’t just about recycling but is also about learning life skills like sewing. 

For approximately 30 years, Geiser has been visiting students in the region to share about recycling, while also helping students create a fleece hat from recycled products. The fleece the students use to create their hat is created from recycled products and also includes an educational component as students figure out math problems to see how a little bit of recycled products from a number of people can leave a big impact on the environment.

You will know when Geiser and her volunteers have visited elementary students in your area when you see an influx of creative fleece hats sitting atop students heads. Like I stated earlier, both of my daughters have had the opportunity to create their own fleece hat under the guidance of Geiser. 

The students helped to stitch the hat and picked out the fabric to make their unique creation. Once the students have completed their new fleece hat they all-but dismiss the winter hat that was carefully picked out to match their winter coat. For several weeks after Geiser visits a classroom you will be hard-pressed not to see a collection of hot pink, as well as football fleece hats sitting atop the heads of area youth.

Sometimes I think we take these projects for granted, but it takes a lot of work to organize, collect the fleece and time to visit classrooms throughout the East Otter Tail County area. However, if you have a child or grandchild who has completed the fleece hat project you can attest to how much most of the students enjoy creating their own fleece hat.

Not only does the project help students to learn about recycling, but it can also spark an interest in sewing, which is becoming a bit of a lost art in today’s world.

To those who are involved in the fleece hat project, thank you. Your work and impact on students over the past 30 or so years remains as important today as ever—and if you have any doubt about that check out all of the new fleece hats in the area. 

New Year’s Resolution

It’s the fourth day of January, which means 25 percent of you who made New Year’s Resolutions have already given up on your goal for the new year. 

I quit making a New Year’s Resolution a number of years ago when I realized I never really ever started them (like losing weight and whatnot).

Any ways, here are some statistics I found pretty interesting about New Year’s Resolutions.

Of those who make a New Year’s Resolution, 75 percent are still successful in keeping it after one week.

After two weeks it drops to 71 percent.

After one month that number drops to 64 percent.

After six months just 46 percent of people who make a resolution are still successful. I would like to meet some of these people and find out how they do that. I don’t think I ever made it more than two weeks. 

It is estimated 38.5 percent of American adults make a New Year’s resolution.  A few of you out there are a bit more of a go-getter than others as a total of 47.4 percent of people who set a New Year’s resolution set more than one. 

At 48 percent, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to exercise more frequently.