Coon Rapids VFW makes winter clothes donation

Close to 300 clothing items were collected by the Coon Rapids VFW Auxiliary for the Anoka/Washington County Head Start program.

The Coon Rapids VFW Auxiliary has donated winter clothing items to the Head Start program. Jessica LaFine (left), Head Start family social worker, came to the VFW Post to pick up the clothing from auxiliary members Bernadette Staum (second left), Mary Hawkins (auxiliary president) and Mary Kaye Kath.

The Coon Rapids VFW Auxiliary has donated winter clothing items to the Head Start program. Jessica LaFine (left), Head Start family social worker, came to the VFW Post to pick up the clothing from auxiliary members Bernadette Staum (second left), Mary Hawkins (auxiliary president) and Mary Kaye Kath.

The clothing, mostly winter-related, was presented to Jessica LaFine, Head Start family social worker, by auxiliary members Saturday at the VFW Post.

The project coincided with Make a Difference Day, a national day of service.

But the impetus for the project began long before that, according to Mary Kaye Kath, VFW Auxiliary past president.

Last year the auxiliary had a mitten tree project for the Head Start program over the holiday season and when its members went to the Head Start center to present the mittens, they learned of the need for winter clothes, especially outerwear, for children and their families, Kath said.

All sorts of winter outerwear, including coats, hats, mittens, gloves, boots, slippers and snow pants, were donated to the program.

Some were made by VFW Auxiliary members and the rest were purchased, said Bernadette Staum, Coon Rapids VFW Auxiliary member.

“A lot of Head Start families are immigrants and don’t realize what winter means here,” she said.

According to LaFine, there are a great many families of Head Start children in need of winter clothing.

Indeed, there are 622 children in the program, LaFine said. Not just the Head Start children themselves, but siblings as well, she said.

Which is why some of the clothing donated by the VFW Auxiliary was for older children, according to Kath.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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