Big Bundle Up is back: Middleton Tourism to collect cold-weather gear for local charity

MIDDLETON — Middleton Tourism invites the public to take part in the 10th statewide Big Bundle Up – a winter clothing drive to benefit the community.

Residents may donate new or gently used warm winter gear to this year’s Big Bundle Up beginning today, Nov. 16, through noon on Monday, Jan. 4. Locations for drop-off include: The Little Gym (1920 Cayuga Street), Keva Sports Center (8312 Forsythia Street), and Middleton City Hall (7426 Hubbard Avenue). Suggested items include hats, mittens, coats, sweaters and other warm clothing.

Each week, Middleton Tourism staff will collect the winter items and deliver them to Lake Mills Cleaners & Dyers which has generously offered to clean all the items for free. All donations will then be taken to Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) for distribution.

“As winter approaches and the pandemic continues, resources continue to be especially tight for so many in our community, many of whom were already struggling,” said Ellen Carlson, executive director for MOM. “One of the most caring things we can do this winter is making sure our community is safe and warm.  Winter Items such as coats and snow pants will especially make a difference for all of the little ones.”

This is the 10th year that the Wisconsin Department of Tourism has collaborated statewide with other tourism offices to collect warm winter clothing to donate to local organizations, and the fifth year for the City of Middleton. To date, the program has collected more than 185,000 warm winter items throughout the state to help families in need. Last year, the City of Middleton donated 409 items to the effort.

“This year has presented challenges for everyone and we’re pleased to be part of this clothing drive,” said Julie Peterman, director of tourism. “There’s a reason Middleton is known as the ‘Good Neighbor City.’ We’re dedicated to taking care of each other in our community and our commitment to lifting each other up is something we’re very proud of here.”