Middleton’s Big Bundle Up collects more than 1,600 winter clothing items for donation

Big Bundle Up MOM volunteers
Middleton Outreach Ministry volunteers accept donations from this year’s Middleton Tourism Big Bundle Up winter clothing drive last month. Volunteers shown include Sara Shea, of Middleton, eight-year volunteer; Letitia Moore, of Madison, three-year volunteer; and Jeanne Topel, of Madison, 22-year volunteer. This year’s drive, which concluded Jan. 4, collected 1,673 items that were donated to four local organizations.

Hundreds of families will benefit from more than a thousand donations to Middleton Tourism’s Big Bundle Up clothing drive this winter.

In its fifth year in Middleton, the Big Bundle Up clothing drive set a personal record bringing in 1,673 items, including winter coats, jackets, snow pants, hats, gloves and scarves.

“The number of donations this year is humbling, and we thank our community for coming together – during a pandemic – to help support their neighbors,” said Julie Peterman, Middleton Tourism director. “In fact, the response this year was so overwhelming, we were able to donate to four separate organizations. On behalf of these groups, we thank all those who donated and all of our partner locations.”

Laura Portz, convention and events services manager with Middleton Tourism, drops off a load of donations to Middleton Outreach Ministry last month. Middleton Tourism’s Big Bundle Up clothing drive, which concluded Jan. 4, collected 1,673 items that were donated to four local organizations.

The drive was held Nov. 16, 2020 – Jan. 4, 2021 at drop-off locations at Keva Sports Center, The Little Gym, Willy Street Co-op-West, and Middleton City Hall. The Big Bundle Up is a statewide clothing drive organized by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and is in its 10th year. Middleton Tourism has partnered with the state agency for five years and this year’s drive surpassed Middleton’s previous record of 818 items in 2017.

Each week, Middleton Tourism staff collected the items and Lake Mills Cleaners & Dryers donated cleaning services for many of the donations before distribution.

The donations were spread out among Middleton Outreach Ministry, Joining Forces for Families, the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District, and the Salvation Army of Dane County.