This is the third year of winter driving. The drive collected 75 coats in 2019, its first year. Last year the collection received more attention, collecting 235 coats and over 500 winter clothes in total. Training has collected various winter items and general supplies this year. According to a Facebook post from Mars, Cameron and Mars collected 187 coats, 238 hats, 81 gloves and mittens, 69 scarves, 25 snow pants, 25 leggings and leggings, 134 warm clothes, 570 hand and toe warmers, 17 blankets and many pairs of winter boots.
In addition, Mars said that it also received many hygiene items and various supplies. Mars contacts organizations and asks them how many items they need and which items they need the most. This helps guide the sorting process and prepare bags of clean, donated materials for distribution.
Their work with the donation campaign also receives a lot of help within Shakopee. Several donation drop-off points have been located in Shakopee this year, and the Haerings are handling the sorting of donated items outside of their home in Shakopee. Gail Haering said it was amazing how many people these donations are making an impact.
Cameron and his mother have strong ties to the Shakopee community. While currently living in Burnsville, Mars was born and raised in Shakopee. Mars’ father and Cameron’s grandfather is Mayor Bill Mars. Mars’ mother and stepfather and Cameron’s grandparents, Gail and Andy Haering, also live in Shakopee. “I cannot thank you enough for coming for our community. Love you all, ”Mars said in the post.
Haering said Mars typically starts collecting items in early October until the night before Thanksgiving. Once the sorting process is complete, Mars collects the donations and delivers them to the organizations. The Haering people also help make donations when Mars is at work. “There are people out there who need so much more… so it’s such a great way to reach out and help,” said Haering.
Haering said donation deliveries were completed this week. Shakopee does not have a specific organization for the homeless, so the family decided to donate items this year to a number of organizations based in the Metro Twin Cities area. According to a March Facebook post, donations were distributed to Sanctuary Supply Depot, Homeward Bound, Neighborhood House, Southside Harm Reduction, Afghan Refugee Outreach, Minneapolis Community Camps, and the CAP agency.
News Area Highlights
- In the spotlight: The third year of the local winter donation campaign supports metropolitan organizations | Shakopee
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