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Project Keep Kids Warm doing great work in community

A local group that has provided thousands of articles of winter clothing to area children will mark a decade of service by introducing efforts to become more efficient and donor-friendly.

Project Keep Kids Warm, which was established in 2009, will deploy donation boxes at 35 convenient locations across western Marquette County.

In previous years, bags with brightly colored labels have been placed on the doorsteps of thousands of residents for pickup at a later date.

The change, according to PKKW Coordinator Dick Derby, should streamline volunteer efforts and increase convenience for residents who wish to donate, who in previous years had to adhere to the strict timeline associated with curbside pickup.

Derby said he is hopeful that western Marquette County communities will embrace the change, as the need for winter clothing “does not go away.”

“This is neighbors helping neighbors,” Derby said. “These communities always seem to step up, and we are hoping for the same level of involvement this year.”

Residents are asked to bring new or gently-used winter clothing including coats, hats, gloves, mittens, and boots for donations to the locations listed below.

We applaud the efforts of Derby and Project Keep Kids Warm. In an area that experiences especially harsh conditions for nearly half the year, it’s vital that children have proper clothing in the winter months. Derby and his group are very thoughtful for keeping this effort going strong for a decade now. We at The Mining Journal ask that anyone who is able to help will consider making a donation to this project, even if it’s small. Every little bit counts.

Boxes in Ishpeming include: Wesley United Methodist Church, UP Health System-Bell, Birchview School, Ishpeming High/Middle schools, Aspen Ridge Elementary School, Jubilee Foods, Anytime Fitness, mBank, Auto Value, TruNorth Credit Union, Trinity Lutheran Church, Bethany Lutheran Church, Faith Lutheran Church, Bethel Lutheran Church, Morrison Drug Store and Flagstar Bank.

Residents wishing to donate in Negaunee can visit: Range Bank, Embers Credit Union, Negaunee High School, Negaunee Middle School, Lakeview Elemetary School, Negaunee post office, Super One, Immanuel Lutheran Church and Honor Credit Union. Women of Steel in Tilden Township will also participate.

Questions about the program can be directed to Derby at 906-235-0339 or the Wesley United Methodist Church in Ishpeming at 906-486-4681.