To the Journal editor:
Project Keep Kids Warm 2013 concluded on Oct. 26. On behalf of Wesley United Methodist Church of Ishpeming it is time to say thank you to the many people, school kids, and organizations that responded throughout our community.
Project Keep Kids Warm is a winter clothing drive to provide slightly used or new jackets, snow-pants, boots, hats, mittens and scarves to needy families.
On Oct. 26, there was a free shopping day for these items at the Ishpeming Armory and several hundred families benefited from the generous donations.
Behind the scenes numerous people worked directly on the project and hundreds of households donated winter clothing to the collection.
The Negaunee Ministerial Association conducted the drive in their town. Cross Bridge Church and Faith Lutheran Church provided additional support in Ishpeming.
The Women of Steel from the United Steel Workers assisted. Shopko of Ishpeming donated the collection bags.
Students from Westwood, Ishpeming, Negaunee, and Hartman High, along with Boy Scout and Girl Scout units provided much of the muscle. The Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul stores were involved.
The Pioneer Kiwanis assisted in Ishpeming and coordinated the drive with churches in the Republic/ Michigamme area: St. Augustine Catholic Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bethany Lutheran Church, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Republic United Methodist Church, and Woodland United Methodist Church.
Significant financial donations were provided by area businesses.
The Ishpeming Armory contributed the essential use of their facility. The local news media brought the story to the public: WLUC TV6, ABC 10, Sunny 101, Eagle 96.7, The Point, and The Mining Journal. Thank you to all!
In keeping with project tradition Keep Kids Warm donated left over clothing to service organizations and schools throughout Marquette County. Those winter clothing items will continue to be distributed for months to come.
Planning for a 2014 event has already begun as well. Individuals or groups interested in supporting the project with winter clothing donations or financial support are encouraged to call Wesley United Methodist Church at 486-4681.
Once again, sincere thanks to everyone involved with Project Keep Kids Warm.
Dick Derby, project organizer