During Keep KELOLAND Warm, we show you story after story about recipients finding a coat. Have you ever thought about the person who donated it? Giving up something isn’t always easy, especially when it has so much love attached to it. In Madison, South Dakota, a woman’s generosity is just one reason Keep KELOLAND Warm exists.
This story is about a coat, and how it ended up here on this table. Someone who needs it will find it at the Keep KELOLAND Warm distribution today in Madison. Let’s go back to the beginning. This coat belonged to a woman named Rose.
“She took care of everyone that needed it,” Karin Mathison said.
Mathison says her mom was kind and routinely donated clothes she didn’t need. Mathison’s mom brought so much warmth to the world, until last spring. That’s when Rose collapsed in her home.
“My dad heard a thud and she was gone,” Mathison said.
As hard as it is, Mathison says it’s time to start giving away some of Rose’s things, including this coat.
“Even as I took it out of the closet, I thought, should I give it away or should I just keep it? But I’m fortunate enough I have several winter coats, I certainly didn’t need it. I thought, no, someone else does need that,” Mathison said.
Before Mathison dropped it in the donation bin, she checked the pockets and found a grocery list her mom wrote.
“She just needed milk, butter, frosting, and bread,” Mathison said.
Seeing her mom’s handwriting reminded Mathison of the caring and compassionate woman who raised her. That made giving her coat to someone else easier.
“That’s the way she would want me to. You pick up and go on and do as much good as you can,” Mathison said.
That’s how this coat, and maybe several others, got here. We didn’t get to stick around to see who this coat ended up with, but that’s okay. This coat’s journey is about where kindness begins.
“Don’t hold on to the things. The things aren’t what you need to grieve. It’s the memories you can hold on to. Those are the special things,” Mathison said.