Providing warm clothing as protection from the elements is a basic need.
United way of Freeborn County has hosted a Winter Gear Drive on an annual basis for several years. The program originated with the Freeborn County Multi-Disciplinary Team to provide winter gear to children only. In 2019, the Winter Gear Drive significantly expanded its model to provide coats for all community members in need. The resulting current model is a two-pronged approach to ensure the greatest impact on our community.
Approach 1: United Way staff work directly with school social workers and other area human service providers. Staff will deliver coats directly to the school or agency requesting the items, often filling a need before the person in need leaves for the day. This service is available year-round but ramps up in September and October as school staff get to know students and their needs.
Approach 2: Community distribution dates are open several dates in November and December. Community members are invited to shop for themselves and their families, giving the opportunity to have dignity and empowerment of choice.
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