Keeping Neighbors Warm: Middleton’s Winter Clothing Drive

It’s the time of year when snow forecasts come in and winter clothing is cycled out — and Visit Middleton invites the community to donate those items to its winter weather clothing drive this year.

This will be the first year for “Keeping Neighbors Warm,” a warm winter clothing drive hosted through Visit Middleton, the City of Middleton’s tourism department, but it will be the seventh year the office has participated in a clothing drive.

In years past, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism organized a statewide winter clothing drive with all tourism offices, called the Big Bundle Up. When the department announced this year that it is ending that program, Visit Middleton decided to create its own.

“This winter clothing drive is important to our community and residents around us, and it has become a valued seasonal tradition for the city,” said Mari Olson, director of tourism. “It was a simple decision to carry on — just under a new name.”

Residents may donate new or gently used warm winter gear to “Keeping Neighbors Warm” beginning Wednesday, Nov. 23, through noon on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Locations for drop-off include: Keva Sports Center (8312 Forsythia Street), Middleton Public Library (7425 Hubbard Avenue), Willy Street Co-op West (6825 University Avenue), and the Middleton Visitors Center (1811 Parmenter Street). Suggested items include winter coats, snow pants, hats, gloves, scarves and boots for all ages.

Each week, Visit Middleton staff will collect the winter items and deliver them to Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) for distribution.

“The cost of making a difference in someone’s life can be no more than donating that extra, unused coat in the back of your closet, or purchasing a pair of children’s gloves,” Olson added. “Such a simple gesture has such tremendous worth. It’s not about the item donated, it’s about a community that values its neighbors.”

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