HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – Keweenaw Family Resource Center has launched the Gratitude Tree project to help people in the community remember everything they have have to be thankful for this season. They say a Gratitude Tree is a simple tool that helps children and adults reflect on the good things in their lives.

KFRC is collecting paper leaves of gratitude to place on the tree painted on the main window at The Tree House Indoor Playground. Community members both young and old are encouraged to send KFRC messages of thanksgiving by visiting the Tree House Indoor Playground to create their own gratitude leaves or creating leaves at home to send to them. Gratitude messages can also be sent through the KFRC Facebook page or calling 906-482-9363. 

“By taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for people experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems” said Shanel LeRue, KFRC Family Support Specialist.  “The latter being something we can all agree is an important and timely benefit.”

The Gratitude Tree project is coming at a time that many households in the Copper Country are experiencing stress and anxiety. This project is specifically designed to support individual, family and community well-being by expressing our gratitude. Iola Brubaker, KFRC Executive Director said, “it is our hope that this message spreads throughout the region.” 

Brubaker said the idea came from a feeling that something positive was needed to help refocus from all of the things happening in the community.

“People are putting things on the tree like their family, the fall colors someone new to the community was super excited about the first snowfall you know their teachers you know the other nonprofits that have just really come together during COVID to make the community the best we can possibly be.” added Brubaker.

Keweenaw Family Resource Center offers a lot of different service to the community, and this year, Brubaker says they’ve felt that need.

“In April we kept our baby closet open knowing that everyone was either being laid of or temporarily suspended from work. No one expected it. We had the same number of people we typically serve in a year come to our baby closet in two weeks for baby diapers and wipes. We had gone through everything we had in stock and this is a challenging year for nonprofits. Portage Health Foundation found out about it and gave us money to continue providing that service.”

To learn more about the resource center or to make a donation, you can find them at https://www.kfrckids.org/