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Winter clothing drive for area youth needs community support

With temperatures growing colder and winter fast approaching, many area residents are already finding a use for their jackets, hats, scarves and other cold-weather apparel.

But some area residents are in still need of these essentials as the winter season approaches.

Due to this, Project Keep Kids Warm — a nonprofit organization based in the west end of Marquette County — is working to collect donations and distribute new winter clothing to area youth up to 18 years old, a recent Journal article reported.

The project involves collecting and distributing snow pants, jackets, boots, mittens, hats, scarves and other winter apparel to local families in need.

Traditionally, the organization has accepted new and used winter clothing through the use of door-to-door collections, widespread drop-boxes and clothing drives.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to some changes, such as only accepting new winter clothing and avoiding methods that involve face-to-face contact.

Due to this, the organization’s inventory is about half of what it would normally be, PKKW Coordinator Dick Derby told the Journal, meaning an extended collection and distribution period is necessary this year.

With these special challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers are still looking for help in the form of new winter clothing and/or financial donations to the effort, and we strongly encourage readers to donate if they can this year.

Amid the pandemic, many families have experienced economic hardship, and now, more than ever, we need to band together in efforts to keep our friends and neighbors safe and warm this winter.

For those interested in making a financial donation, they can mail it to Project Keep Kids Warm in care of the Wesley United Methodist Church at P.O. Box 342, Ishpeming, Michigan. Checks can be made out to the Wesley United Methodist Church, noting Project KKW in the memo line.

People can also purchase new winter clothing for youth of any age — from infants up to 18-year-olds — and drop the items off in the marked totes at Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 801 Hemlock St. in Ishpeming, or the Immanuel Lutheran Church at 521 U.S. 41 in Negaunee.

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