Share the warmth coordinators are excited

Maria Licea, Jessica Bogardus, Barb Simpson, and Sally Fitzgerald are excited about the donations they have already received for the Share the Warmth campaign.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, a new winter clothing drive called Share the Warmth will kick off in Lake County with a bang.

Many local businesses will be part of the kick off campaign. Each participating business will donate a portion of their sales to Share the Warmth.

Participating businesses include Ace hardware, Tall Town Bike & Camp, High Desert Coffee, The Golden Gem, Hall Motor Company, and Bloomers Country Nursery. On that date each sale will in turn provide warm clothes to kids in need across Lake County this winter. Ace, Les Schwab and Tall Town are all donating 5% of Saturday’s profits to the cause. Bloomers is donating 10% of profits. Hall Motor Company is donating $100 for every vehicle sold to a Lake County resident from Nov. 16 until the end of the month. High Desert Coffee is donating 25 cents for each cup of coffee sold.

There will also be donation containers at all Lake County Library locations, the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, and Lakeview Hospice for people to drop off clothes.

Organized by Sally Fitzgerald, Barb Simpson, and Ceci Farmen; the drive is hoping to acquire new, or gently used, clothing from the community to support students in Lake County that need help keeping warm during the winter.

“There has not been something organized like this in Lake County before,” said Simpson.

While there have been coat, toy, and other drives in the past, unlike those drives this is more than a Christmas drive. The group is hopeful to make it an annual event, based on the success of the inaugural campaign. Organizers will continue to accept donations from the community until Jan. 15, 2020.

“When kids get clothes at Christmas, we are hopeful that they will donate some of their gently used clothing to help needy students,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald, Simpson, and Farmen are working with school secretaries to get lists of which students are in need, and what specifically they might need. While they are collecting clothes until Jan. 15, they will begin to distribute items to needy students immediately throughout the county as children are identified. How items will be distributed across Lake County is currently still in the works. The current plan is for requests to be funneled through the organizers, then Share the Warmth will send clothes to each respective school.

Some funds have already been donated to the Share the Warmth drive. Money donations will go towards buying items that are needed and not donated to fill the gap of secured items in demand. Among the items targeted for purchase are snow boots. They are looking for all sizes of snow boots.

“We do not expect a lot of snow boots to be donated, so we are planning on using some of the money to buy them,” added Simpson.

Any money left over after the end of the campaign will go to schools across Lake County to help students in need. Currently the plan is to distribute the money evenly amongst the schools.

For those wishing to donate contact the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, or go to the Umpqua Bank in Lakeview to donate to Share the Warmth account. For more information contact the Lake County Chamber of Commerce at 541-947-6040.

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