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Large Crowds Come Out For Last Keep KELOLAND Warm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The snowy weather Thursday was a great reminder for those in need to get out and get free winter gear from Keep KELOLAND Warm.  The final distribution was Thursday afternoon at Bishop Dudley Hospitality House. From the looks of things, it was another successful year.

People walking out of the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House are a little warmer than when they walked in.

Inside volunteers with KELOLAND Media Group, Lewis Drug and Montgomery's Furniture were all busy helping people find the right fit for them.

"Each and every event, it's really touching to be able to match people with the coats they need to stay warm," Nikki Griffin, Lewis Drug Corporate Vice President, said.

Griffin has been active with organizing, sorting and now handing out these donations from the community. For her, it's the smallest guests that make the biggest impression.

"I get to stand at the kids' coats. All of those interactions are touching to me. Especially when you get these cute little girls and boys who want their snow pants. I always think it's cute when they get to pick out their own stuff. They want it to match. They want to look cool," Griffin said. "They want to have that sense of style that fashion, as well as staying warm. Every person, every kid, deserves that." 

For some people, this is a nice addition to their winter gear. For others, it's a much-needed gift in a rough time.

"I tried to earn my money. I tried to do everything I can. It's kind of falling short a little bit," coat recipient George Clements said. 

Clements says he's working on getting his life back together after some rough years, but he makes it a point to share what he thinks about the people who donated to Keep KELOLAND Warm this year.

"I would thank you for everything you did because the people that you donated to they would thank you too if they had a voice for it," Clements said. 

More than 5,000 coats were distributed this season. We will let you know next year when you can start donating again.

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