SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The official start of winter is just 37 days away. Keep KELOLAND Warm is making sure people in need of winter gear are getting it. Every week, bags and boxes of coats come into the St. Francis House. Volunteers help do the sorting. Today, a group from KELOLAND came to volunteer.
Here are some of the coats today. It’s actually a smaller pile than regular days. What we are doing today is we are sorting the coats by size, and you can see some of them are actually pretty nice coats. This here is a Calvin Klein.
Volunteer Coordinator Andy Wingert helped organize the sorting process.
“Up front is for stuff that might have a broken zipper, it might be a little too thin for winter, it might be a sweatshirt or that kind of stuff, put that up there.”
KELOLAND’s Jeremy Pepper volunteered his time today.
“Makes you feel good. It’s always nice to come out and help out when you can,” said Pepper.
Executive Director Julie Becker says the St Francis House distributes the coats, hats, and gloves to 19 different agencies. But it takes a group effort to get the coats into the hands of people who need them.
“Lewis Drug has just been amazing having all of these coats just dropped off, and I’m amazed when I go into the stores seeing them just all piled up, and you know Montgomery Furniture does their role and brings the coats to us every Tuesday because that is what we are doing now,” said Becker. “And, of course, KELOLAND has been amazing because they are taking the lead in promoting it so that people will know where to give coats, and the need continues to be happening in our community.”
Keep KELOLAND Warm is winding down next Wednesday, so time is running out to donate new or gently worn coats, hats, and gloves.
Winter gear can be dropped off at St. Francis House and at Sioux Falls Lewis locations, except the one downtown. Snow pants for kids and overalls for adults are two big needs. Also, larger-size coats are in big demand.