The chilly fall weather has started to move into Upper Michigan. But, Marquette County community and church members are preparing by collecting warm coats for needy children.
Project Keep Kids Warm is in the 4th year of collecting new and used winter coats in western Marquette County for kids who need them. Specially-marked bags were distributed October 12 so the coats can be bagged up and left for volunteers.
Organizer Dick Derby says, “7,000 bags were distributed, home by home, through out the community. They have a fluorescent-pink instruction tag on them, that tells you how to donate new or slightly used winter clothing, ages infant to 18. Then, it all gets organized at the Ishpeming Armory. On October 26, we have a free shopping day for those families who want to come in with their kids and look for winter jackets, boots, snow pants, mittens, scarves, hats and all those things.”
On October 19, project volunteers will collect the bags, organizing them for the free distribution in Ishpeming next week. The National Guard Armory in Ishpeming will be helping out by hosting the event.
“There are always needs for volunteers here at Wesley United Methodist
Church, Immanuel, or a number of area churches that are either working with
us on Project Keep Kids Warm, or those who are doing other community
outreach programs,” Derby said.
If you’d like to donate items for Project Keep Kids Warm and did not receive a bag. donations are being accepted at the Ishpeming St. Vincent de Paul Store,
the Ishpeming Salvation Army.
In addition to Wesley United Methodist in Ishpeming, the Project Keep Kids Warm is assisted by Faith Lutheran Church, Cross Bridge Church, and the Salvation Army in Ishpeming. Immanuel Lutheran Church in Negaunee is working in league with the Negaunee Ministerial Association, which is composed of Eastwood Apostolic Lutheran, Evergreen Community, Bethany Lutheran, Mitchell United Methodist, St. John’s Episcopal, and Immanuel Lutheran.
In the Republic/Michigamme area, program participants include St. Augustine, United Methodist Republic, Bethany Lutheran, Woodland, Sacred Heart, Redeemer Lutheran. Additionally, there is significant student involvement from Westwood, Ishpeming, Neguanee, and Hartman High Schools as well as area Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and the Pioneer Kiwanis of Ishpeming.