More than 1,200 coats distributed by Keep KELOLAND Warm; Donations still accepted

Local News

It’s feeling a little more like winter in KELOLAND as the cold air lingers.

Agencies involved in a coat drive are making sure people have what they need to stay safe.

St. Francis House guests Toni McSweeney, Shantell Jandreau, and Kaitlynn Hoerner all received winter coats through Keep KELOLAND Warm.

“I do wear it every day when I go to work, walk to the bus, and get off and walk from the bus to work, so it does keep me quite warm,” St. Francis House guest Toni McSweeney said.

“I’m thankful to have a jacket because it’s really cold outside,” St. Francis House guest Shantell Jandreau said.

During this season’s event, at least 1,248 coats have been distributed to people served within more than a dozen agencies so far.

“It’s actually really nice because not a lot of people have coats and stuff when they get here so it’s kind of nice for them to provide some things so important to us at this time of year,” St. Francis House guest Kaitlynn Hoerner said.

Winter accessories such as hats, scarves, and gloves are also available to anyone who needs them.

The time frame to drop off donations is longer this year.

“We’re just going to continue to monitor the weather. We’re going to keep accepting coats so that if we do have an unpleasant end of winter, beginning of spring that we still are able to get coats out to people, so as long as this weather stays cold and we have this white stuff on the ground we’re going to still continue accepting coats so we can get them out to people,” St. Francis House executive director Julie Becker said.

That means when it’s time to face the elements, more people will be warm and safe.

“I’m very grateful and whatnot that they do things like that for us,” McSweeney said.

If you have coats and winter apparel to donate, you can drop them off at the St. Francis House.

However, if you need a coat, you should work with a participating agency.

Here is a list of the agencies:

  • St. Francis House
  • Bishop Dudley Hospitality House
  • Union Gospel Mission
  • The Banquet
  • Call To Freedom
  • Presentation Sisters/Caminanda Juntos
  • Carroll Institute/The Arch
  • Glory House
  • Minnehaha County Detox
  • New Start
  • Safe Home
  • Department of Social Services – Child Protective Services
  • Westside Christian School
  • St. Vincent de Paul Outreach

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