Wanting both to give back and spread holiday cheer, Lindsay Hine Schroeder, kennel manager of College Mall Veterinary Hospital, created a way to do both within her place of work.
Throughout the month of December, the local artist and CMVH employee will be selling her handmade felt ornaments to clients and local community members alike.
WildCare Inc. will be receiving 90 percent of all proceeds from the ornament sale. WildCare is a local nonprofit organization that cares for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.
All the donations will go to the organization’s rehabilitation department, bringing healed animals back into the wild.
“It’s nice that you can come into work every day and you know you are making a difference,” Schroeder said.
Ornaments range from $10 to $12.50 each. Payments can be made via cash or check.
The seasonal sale began nine years ago when Schroeder discovered her love of painting ceramic ornaments. This then spread to felt creations starting with an owl ornament.
Every year Schroeder said she tries to add a new animal to the collection.
This year multiple Christmas-colored themed pieces are featured in addition to other animals such as raccoons and foxes.
There is also an ornament of Lil Bub, an internet famous cat from Bloomington.
This specific ornament is also featured in the Lil Bub Big Shop located in downtown Bloomington.
Other ornaments can be customized with an animal’s name on it and help with client purchases.
Schroeder started to display the ornaments in the vet hospital to expand foot traffic and gain exposure to the cause she was also supporting.
“My son had the biggest smile on his face when he found out that his ornament was helping an animal in need,” Schroeder said.
Hoping to expand the project, Schroeder said she really wants to have children involved in her work.
She said she pictures children and their families displaying their handmade ornaments and demonstrating how to make the ornaments in a community-wide event.
Expanding to paper and other materials could help this vision come true, she said.
The donations from the purchase of the ornaments make a large difference for the organization, said Chika Akiyama, veterinary technician at CMVH and Wildcare representative.
“It’s wonderful because there is no federal funding for the organization,” Akiyama said. “They sell really well every year.”
Akiyama described Schroeder as extremely hard-working and knowledgeable about the business and the needs of the animals and their owners.
“For me, there are a lot of things that I can still learn, and this environment that Lindsay created is very helpful with that,” Akiyama said.
Akiyama said the ornament project is just one of the ways Schroeder gives back to the community.
“I want to inspire others to do good in the world as well,” Schoeder said. “It doesn’t take a lot of money, just some time.”
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