Donations needed for Keep KELOLAND Warm, larger coat sizes in demand

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Communities all across KELOLAND are dealing with temperatures below zero on Thursday.

While a warmup is on the way, there’s still a lot of winter left.

Melissa Ross now has a new winter coat to keep her warm in the frigid temperatures.

The mother and Bishop Dudley Hospitality House guest says her other coat had seen better days.

“Mine go pretty quickly with having four kids, spills, tears, and mine that I’ve had for a couple years gave out on me about last week,” Bishop Dudley Hospitality House guest Melissa Ross said.

Ross received the coat thanks to Keep KELOLAND Warm.

The St. Francis House continues collecting new or gently worn winter coats and accessories for the program.

Larger sizes are in the highest demand.

“The 2,3,4X coats, they go very quickly. That is the hard part when we don’t have those, so we do our best to offer hooded sweatshirts, at least it’s something, but as soon as we get those coats for those sizes they’re gone immediately,” St. Francis House executive director Julie Becker said.

So far this season the St. Francis House has worked with several organizations and agencies to get around 1,200 coats to people in need.

“We’re grateful for everyone who has donated and there’s so many people who are better off today because of the gifts that were given of these coats, hats, and gloves,” Becker said.

That includes Ross who was wearing a blazer outside Thursday morning before she got her new coat.

“I can go outside and probably not freeze. I can get from A to B the car and not get frost bite and not freeze to death per say,” Ross said.

She says the program is a big help, not just for her family, but others.

Ross’ children received coats through Keep KELOLAND Warm around Christmastime.

If you want to donate new or gently used winter coats or other apparel, you can drop it off at the St. Francis House from 8:00 am-8:00 pm any day of the week.

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