Over 250 clothing items donated to Head Start

More than 250 articles of clothing were donated to the Anoka County Head Start Center, Coon Rapids, Dec. 20 through a joint project of the Coon Rapids VFW Ladies Auxiliary and Park River Estates Care Center.

Members of the Coon Rapids VFW Ladies Auxiliary, left to right, Mary Kaye Kath, Mary Hawkins and Judy Roepke, take donated items on the Sharing Tree at Park River Estates Care Center, Coon Rapids, for presentation to the Anoka County Head Start Center, Coon Rapids. Photo by Val Stanton, Coon Rapids VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

Members of the Coon Rapids VFW Ladies Auxiliary, left to right, Mary Kaye Kath, Mary Hawkins and Judy Roepke, take donated items on the Sharing Tree at Park River Estates Care Center, Coon Rapids, for presentation to the Anoka County Head Start Center, Coon Rapids. Photo by Val Stanton, Coon Rapids VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

This was the second year that the VFW auxiliary has partnered with the Coon Rapids care center on the holiday project and the fourth year that it has donated clothes to the Head Start center on Foley Boulevard.

Hats, mittens, scarves, coats, jackets, socks and slippers packed in boxes were delivered to the Head Start center Dec. 20.

At Park River, a Sharing Tree was set up the day before Thanksgiving for residents, family members and staff to place gifts for the Head Start center, according to Vicki Petersen, activities director.

“The tree was filled with 93 items,” Petersen said.

The VFW Auxiliary contribution included items made by auxiliary members as well as clothing that was purchased, according to Val Stanton, auxiliary member.

More than 300 children attend the Head Start center in Coon Rapids and several requests have been received from families for help in providing clothing, said Brynne Pietkola, family service worker at the Head Start center.

“It means so much to be able to help them,” Pietkola said.

“We are very grateful for the donations from the VFW auxiliary and the care center.”

According to Mary Kaye Kath, VFW auxiliary member, a new project is being launched in the new year to collect gently-used sweaters and sweatshirts to be given to Head Start center families.

“Our goal is to be able to donate a good-sized collection by the end of February in time to help with the temperature changes,” Kath said.

The sweaters and sweatshirts can be dropped off at the Coon Rapids VFW, 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd., or call Kath at 763-757-5189.

Head Start is a multi-faceted child and family development program for income-eligible households in Anoka and Washington counties, the Head Start website states.

The program is designed to help pregnant women and children, aged birth to five, and their families achieve their full potential, according to the website.

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

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