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Explore La Crosse accepting winter clothes donations

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A statewide effort can have a heart- and body-warming impact in La Crosse.

Explore La Crosse announced it will once again take part in the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Big Bundle Up campaign. Janet Dahl of Explore La Crosse said the project helps local entities collect winter clothing and choose where to send donations.

“It is wonderful because there are our neighbors and people getting cold this winter, and we know Wisconsin is going to be cold,” Dahl said. “It is good to just get it right away and help our friends and neighbors.”

Explore La Crosse will accept new and gently used hats, mittens, scarves and jackets. Adult items are taken to the warming shelter, and items for children are given to the Family and Children’s Center.

This is the ninth year of Big Bundle Up statewide. To date, the program has collected 155,893 warm winter items. Dahl said there has been an increase in participation over the years.

“We’ve had gently used things, and then we’ve also had people just create their own,” Dahl said. “They make mittens all year because that’s their hobby, and then they donate them to great causes like this. Sometimes, we’ve even had a corporate donation of 500 hats. It is wonderful to see people of all levels do what they can to help people stay warm.”

Donations can be made at the Visitor Center in Riverside Park (410 E Veterans Memorial Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601) or the Wisconsin Welcome Center on French Island (2258 Lakeshore Dr, La Crosse, WI 54603) until November 25.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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