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One Cedar Rapids woman thanks those working on the front lines using her business



A mother who sells handmade jewelry and other goods from artisans across the globe, is using her small business platform to thank those working on the front lines during the pandemic.

Ingrid Glessner is an ambassador for Noonday Collection and for the past three years she has sold handmade ornaments from different parts of the world to customers. Only, the customers don’t receive the ornaments. Glessner delivers them to people in the community.

“At first I thought, ‘maybe we shouldn’t do it again’ because of COVID because of derecho, maybe we should scrap this tradition, but my customers reminded me that now more than ever we need to encourage people in the community,” organizer Ingrid Glessner said.

Each ornament is paired with one of Glessners handwritten Thank You notes, with information on where the handmade ornament came from.

“India, Afghanistan, Uganda, Vietnam. Just a lot of different places here represented,” she said.

This holiday season, keeping the tradition alive, Glessner decided to deliver the 50 ornaments to Evergreen Estates, a residential care facility in Cedar Rapids.

“That’s very nice. I’ll take it and put it on my tree. I’m very thankful,” CNA Julie Maihf said, “It’s nice to know we’re appreciated so thank you very much.”

“Each year when she puts that ornament on her tree, she will remember where it came from and what it meant, and the deep thank you behind it,” Evergreen Estates Administrator Pat Giorgio said.

22 of Ingrid Glessner’s customers helped in sponsoring the ornaments given to the front line heroes.

“Just to brighten someone’s day that has maybe had a hard time. I mean, if they’re working nonstop at a care center obviously it’s a lot. And so this is just to lift spirits and make sure they know they are appreciated,” Glessner said.

She says the artisans who make the items are paid up front, and through fair trade, the ambassadors are the ones who take on selling the products.

Since the start of the pandemic, she has had to adjust the way in which she sells her products to reach customers online, instead of gathering as they normally would.

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