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Enterprise collecting mittens for local children

The third annual mitten drive begins Dec. 2

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Donations for the Enterprise mitten tree will be accepted starting Dec. 2. These were some of the gifts that adorned last year's tree. Enterprise file photo.

Warm hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and socks are being collected again this year in the Enterprise lobby. Donations will be accepted, starting Monday, Dec. 2, to decorate the third annual mitten tree.

Last year, more than 700 items of winter clothing were donated.

Sizes infant through teen are welcome and will be distributed to the Head Start and Home Based program, Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots families and area schools.

MAHUBE-OTWA Head Start director Michelle Wilkowski said their program can use infant through age 5 sizes.

“Families are in need of winter gear in the cold winter months,” she said. “Our staff will be able to get them to the families most in need. We also plan to distribute some as Christmas gifts.” The Head Start program serves 49 home-based students, 52 in centers and 35 in family child care, for a total of 136 students. Their service area includes Park Rapids, Nevis, Akeley, Osage, Laporte and Lake George.

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Toys for Girls and Boys needs gifts

There is also a donation box for the Toys for Girls and Boys program in the Enterprise lobby to help the 150 families who signed up for Christmas gifts for their children. New toys and other gift items, such as fleece blankets, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and sprays and makeup, are welcome.

Toy donations should be dropped off by Dec. 9 and will be distributed to families who signed up for the program Dec. 13 at the Lakes Area Vineyard Church in Park Rapids.

Donations of money and phone, gas or other gift cards for the Toys for Girls and Boys program may be dropped off at TruStar in Park Rapids or Nevis by Dec. 9.

Other places to donate

New or gently used boots, snow pants, snowsuits and coats may be brought to the MAHUBE-OTWA office, located at 120 North Central Ave. in Park Rapids, from 8 a..m to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Park Rapids students also can use donations of new or gently used jackets, snow pants and boots. For more information on bringing these items to the Park Rapids schools, send an email to helpinghandsparkrapids@gmail.com.

“We are grateful for any donations that we get for outside clothing for our kiddos,” Century Elementary Principal Jolene De La Hunt said. “It’s all very helpful for our families and students. Thank you to those who are being gracious and making donations.”

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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