United Way Gives Residents Winter Clothes For Free
As winter quickly approaches, residents looking for a new coat and other seasonal necessities were able to pick them up for free today through the United Way of Bemidji.
The annual Coats For The Community event, held at the Boys & Girls Club of Bemidji, was open to all- regardless of need, with no questions asked.
“Minnesota winters can be pretty harsh,” says Kathleen Kordiak, a volunteer. “I think they’re a lot more enjoyable when you’re not cold.”
About 250 people were able to grab a bag and take as much as they needed for themselves or others.
“I know so many people who need things and it’s just easy to get them for them [here],” says JR Bauman.
People were able to donate new or gently used at five area businesses.
“We have women that actually hand knit hats, scarves and mittens for people and donate them,” says Barb Treat, a volunteer.
Treat has helped for the last 20 years. She has collected items from school lost and founds and she has even personally bought items when they go on sale for the drive.
“When you see children standing out for the bus stop without warm enough clothes, it makes you even more motivated to do something like this,” she said.
The service is a great resource for families who might otherwise spend hundreds of dollars on new clothing.
“We heard they were giving away great jackets for the kids,” said Gabriel Sweatt. “We have lots of nieces and nephews, as well as children, so we figured it would be a good time to get some jackets and all the winter supplies that we need.”
Emma Garner says the event is perfect for her six children who might quickly grow out of or even misplace their coats.
“If something gets lost, at least we have a backup- it’s always good to have a backup,” Garner said.