Project Keep Kids Warm an outstanding community effort

Saturday was just another day for many people. But for others it was one more instance of of people helping people and a community coming together to rally behind a very worthy cause.

Volunteers recently delivered 6,500 bags to four western Marquette County communities for the eighth annual Project Keep Kids Warm winter clothing drive. The project’s bag collection took place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Ishpeming, west Ishpeming, National Mine, Negaunee and Republic. From there, the winter clothing items will be available for free distribution at the Ishpeming Armory from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 7.

Whether we want to admit it or not, the cold weather of winter is on its way, and few places in the United States experience the types of winters we get to enjoy here in the Upper Peninsula.

Temperatures dip to well below freezing, and very often remain there for long stretches of time.

Imagine how cold a child’s bare-skinned hands might get when waiting for the school bus on a cold January morning, then take a look in your closet. How many pairs of gloves or mittens are in there, and how often are they used? Do you have old scarfs tucked away in the closet that haven’t seen the light of day in years? What about hats or boots?

“There are always families that have had economic distress, and kids keep growing and wear out clothes,” project coordinator Dick Derby said in a recent Journal article. “KKW is important for those families, and each year they tell us that — for them it is hard to budget for winter clothing, but it is still a very real need. Whether going to school or trying to have recreational time outside, kids need to be able to stay warm and dry during the winter months.”

We entirely agree. Moreover, anything that’s left over from the Oct. 7 free distribution day will be donated to local St. Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army facilities, so nothing is wasted.

The need is always great, and as winter and the holiday season approaches, the time to give is never better than the present. Project Keep Kids Warm has offered that opportunity for eight years now and it’s just one more great example of people helping people.