Brookings invited to Share the Warmth

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BROOKINGS – Winter is coming, and the public is invited to help keep Brookings warm. 

Share the Warmth is a one-day event to provide free winter outerwear items to people in need in Brookings County. The event is organized by The Salvation Army of Brookings County and takes place on Sept. 29 at Old Sanctuary (928 Fourth St., Brookings).

“The goal of Share the Warmth is to help ease the burden of the cost of winter outerwear for children and families since it is a necessity in South Dakota,” said Samantha Turnquist, service center manager of The Salvation Army of Brookings County. “Last year, we gave out coats to more than 1,400 individuals.” 

Each year, Share the Warmth relies heavily on donations from community members, including new and gently used winter items as well as monetary donation. For items, the focus for donations is on new and gently used winter coats for all ages.

“We focus on coats of all ages and also provide options for weatherproof gloves, snow pants, and boots so kids can attend recess,” Turnquist said. 

To raise additional funds for Share the Warmth, The Salvation Army of Brookings County is hosting a VFW Pancake Feed Fundraiser from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at the VFW (520 Main Ave., Brookings). All funds received will go toward supporting the Share the Warmth program. 

To learn more, visit www.stwbrookings.org. To donate monetarily, visit www.stwbrookings.org or send a tax-deductible donation to The Salvation Army of Brookings County (Share the Warmth), 410 Seventh St., Brookings, SD 57006.

The Share the Warmth event is free and open to anyone living in Brookings County. Although the focus is to serve school-age children, if there are individuals and families in need, it is the mission of the organization to serve as many people in need as possible.

“We have numerous new families in town from warmer climates who have no idea the need and cost of winter outerwear until they get here,” Turnquist said.

To receive items at the Share the Warmth event, registration is required and open until Sept. 20. Individuals can register online at www.stwbrookings.org.

In addition to relying on donations, Share the Warmth also relies on more than 200 volunteers for its success. Volunteers are from all age groups and capabilities. There are multiple opportunities to help including event set up, day-of support, clean-up crew and more

“Our volunteers get so much out of the experience,” Turnquist said. “A lot of them are parents themselves and can see their child when assisting a child in need. We live our mission and vision through this event. We care about ‘doing the most good’ by having neighbors help neighbors and providing an experience to both give and receive.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit  www.stwbrookings.org.

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