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'Kollecting for Kids' kicks off in Perham

A new project was launched August 1 in Perham, all aimed at keeping Perham area kids warm throughout the winter.

"Kollecting for Kids" is gathering donations of new or slightly used infant/kids coats, new snow pants, new kids boots (sizes infants/kids 1-13), and new hats and mittens. "All of the donations will be distributed locally," explains Jill Shipman, who spearheaded the new project.

Shipman says she first got the idea for "Kollecting for Kids" when she attended a Kinship meeting and learned that the city of Brainerd was struggling with some similar problems to Perham. Many of the clothing items being collected locally were distributed in other cities, creating a transportation issue.

As Shipman explains it, many people can't afford to drive to Fargo to pick up the donated coats collected through other service organizations. Keeping the entire process local, collection through distribution, eliminates travel concerns and expenses.

The Perham collection runs from August 1 through September 30. Drop off locations are at ACS Retail Center; Nadine's; Blossoms, Birds, and Beyond; Ghost Runner; and Perham Community and Calvary Lutheran Churches.

Distribution will occur October 10 at the Perham Area Community Center, by appointment only. "Everything is confidential. We'll just set up an appointment so people can come in and pick up what they need," Shipman says.

With a substantial local need for warm winter wear, it is likely that most of the items collected will be given away October 10 in Perham. "If we have leftovers, we're going to bring them out to the Richville Clothing Mission," reports Shipman. This way, families who move to the area in the middle of winter can be directed to Richville for needed clothing items.

Even though Kollecting for Kids is not a Kinship project, Kinship will play a role in helping to provide the donated winter apparel. As a Kinship service project, the G.A.P. girls, grades 5 - 12, will be making fleece hats and mittens to add to the collection, helping to keep other kids warm.

Additional volunteers are always needed. For more information, call 218-346-7102 or e-mail