Breaking News
More () »

Belfast Co-op brings color for a cause to storefront windows

The Belfast Community Co-op has partnered with the Waterfall Arts after-school programs to bring a little color to the area.

BELFAST, Maine — Folks checking out at the Belfast Community Co-op may have noticed a pop of color in the store over the past few weeks. 

It's in part thanks to a creative bunch of kids of the Waterfall Arts Bridge Afterschool Club, who have partnered with the co-op to raise money for a local non-profit serving the community. 

The kids cut out and uniquely decorated hundreds of paper mittens, and with every dollar donated for the project, one is hung in the store's windows. Co-op Outreach Coordinator Alessandra Martinelli said so far, customers have enjoyed the decorations. 

"They'll come in and buy 10 or 20 at a time. They know that it's a great organization to donate to and they love the color!" Martinelli said.

This year, the kids decided they wanted to raise money for the Belfast Soup Kitchen. Belfast Soup Kitchen Community and Guest Relations Coordinator Maria Jacobs said seeing the kids take initiative is inspiring. 

"They want to do it. They take action on it and they use their voices, and I think that's really empowering and that's what we need," Jacobs said. 

It all started when the co-op wanted to do something creative during the pandemic; creating paper hearts in the window of the store when it wasn't possible to run a pride parade. The kids have taken over, as a way for them and the co-op to give back to the community.

"It kind of took off and other organizations said, 'Hey we loved it when you had all of that color in the windows, what can we do to be a part of that?'" Martinelli said. 

Kids and Families Program Manager Bridget Matros said the main goal of many of the arts programs at Waterfall Arts is empowering the community with the power of creativity; which coincides with the mittens project. 

"Creativity isn't just about art, it's about directing your personal power and making something different or better than it is," Matros said. 

Mittens will be available for purchase at the co-op through the end of February. 

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories

For the latest breaking news, weather, and traffic alerts, download the NEWS CENTER Maine mobile app.

Before You Leave, Check This Out