Project Keep Kids Warm back to help youth in Western Marquette County, asking for new clothing items amid pandemic

North Central UP

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – Project Keep Kids Warm is entering the twelfth year of providing winter clothing to needy families in the Ishpeming, Negaunee, and Republic communities. This mission and community outreach has been making a difference to struggling families in the area.

Dick Derby, coordinator of the project says there continues to be a huge need for winter clothing for our youth, perhaps more so with the added challenges of the COVID-19 virus.

The effort is determined to find creative ways to be socially responsible while at the same time ensuring that area children have the jackets, snow pants, boots, hats, and mittens they will need when the snow and cold arrive. After much consideration the KKW team has determined that they cannot accept used winter items as they have collected in the past. They say cleaning gently used clothing would not be cost effective, therefore Keep Kids Warm is seeking additional financial resources to purchase new items. Generous monetary donations at the beginning of the year allowed them to purchase many new winter clothing items and build a Fall inventory. This includes a $1,500 donation from Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce. However, they know from experience that we will need much more to fulfill the requests that come in.

This year the group is focusing on relationships with area schools to help identify families who can use some help. That includes Ishpeming, NICE, Negaunee, Republic/Michigamme, Hartman High at St. John’s, and Ishpeming Head Start. When they receive that information, one of the KKW volunteers will make a connection with each family, to get size and item needs. Then the team will coordinate distribution through pickup and drop off. This will ensure that even in the absence of a large gathering Keep Kids Warm can continue to meet as many needs as possible.

The Project Keep Kids Warm team is asking Yoopers to consider joining them in their mission and donating so they can fulfill what our title says: Keep Kids Warm.

Here are two ways you can help:

1.) Send a financial contribution. Make donations out to Wesley United Methodist Church. Mail them to P.O. Box 342, Ishpeming, MI 49849. 100% of the funds will be used to purchase new winter items.

2.) You can purchase new winter clothing for ages infant to 18 and drop them in the marked totes at the distribution headquarters, Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 801 Hemlock St. Ishpeming, MI 49849. There is also a drop-off at our partnering church, Immanuel Lutheran, located at 521 Highway U.S. 41, Negaunee, MI 49866. There are additional drop-boxes at the following locations: Ishpeming: CrossBridge Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, First Bank, and TruNorth Credit Union. Negaunee: Embers Credit Union. Republic: Republic Township Hall.

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