Two local groups helped by the Optimist Mitten Tree project

(UWW-Community Optimist Club press release)

Two agencies that assist Whitewater residents who have special needs were grateful to
receive items collected on behalf of the UWW-Community Optimist Club. Whitewater clients
are able to benefit from VIP (Very Important People) Services that provides for persons with
disabilities while New Beginnings offers comprehensive, compassionate support and services
to people affected by domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking.

Cindy Simonsen, Executive Director for VIP Services and Linda Cheney, Director for New
Beginnings, APFV, stopped in Whitewater last week to receive some of the items collected
from the Whitewater community meant to keep people warm and cared for this winter.

Linda Cheney and Cindy Simonsen accept donations from Jeanine Fassl, co-chair of the
UWW/Community Optimist Club’s Mitten Tree project, to help local clients needing gifts of
warmth and caring during the winter months. (Masks removed for photo only)

The UWW-Community Optimist Club’s Mitten Tree project has been ongoing for 26 years and
works with area sites to collect mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, and other items for those in
need over the winter months. In light of the changes needed during the COVID pandemic,
First Citizens State Bank, Fort Community Credit Union (FCCU) and First English Lutheran
Church will be collection places this year but in a much more limited fashion. First Citizens
State Bank will be taking collections from their employees and First English Lutheran Church
will only collect from their church members indirectly. The Whitewater branch of Fort
Community Credit Union’s lobby is open, and they will serve as a collection site for the public.
Persons willing to donate items may also contact project co-chairs, Rick and Jeanine Fassl.
Donations will be accepted now through, Friday, December 18th by 4 p.m.

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