Keeping KELOLAND warm during a pandemic

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Each year, KELOLAND News and our partners ask you to donate new or gently used coats and other winter apparel for Keep KELOLAND Warm.

Once again you’re help is needed, but there will be some changes this year for the event aimed at getting free winter gear to those in need.

“Well, unfortunately, due to our times we’re facing right now in our world, we knew we had to make some changes to Keep KELOLAND Warm, but we also didn’t want to just not have the event this year,” St. Francis House Executive Director Julie Becker said.

This year instead of dropping your donations off at a Lewis store, you’ll bring them here to the St. Francis House.

Then guests at the transitional home will sort the coats.

You also won’t see big coats distribution events this year.

Instead the St. Francis House has created a voucher system for agencies in the community.

“So if they need coats, they’re going to email us the sizes they need, men, women, and if we also have children,” Becker said.

The Banquet is one of the organizations that will help its guests get coats from the program.

“Winter gear is expensive and so people that are struggling to put a meal on their table, they’re certainly going to struggle to keep themselves and their children warm, so it’s really a beneficial program to people in our community,” The Banquet Executive Director Tamera Jerke-Liesinger said.

“I see it as a win-win. Keeping people safe, our guests get to continue giving back to the community, and most importantly, people are getting coats and the agencies are working together collaboratively to meet the needs of those that are needing a coat to keep warm,” Becker said.

You can drop off new or gently used coats and other winter apparel at the St. Francis House from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. any day of the week through February.

While Lewis and Montgomery’s facilities won’t be used this year, Becker says the two businesses are still supporting this year’s event.

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