The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 23, 2013

HUGS collection provides warmth to local children

CLINTON — Area residents have a chance to help those in need keep warm during the winter months by providing hats, underwear, gloves and socks.

The Clinton Herald is once again holding its HUGS collection to benefit people through the Holiday Network. The program began in 2006.

“The original goal was for each child serviced by this organization to receive at least three pairs of underwear and three pairs of socks each along with hats and gloves,” Rhonda Lange, from the Herald, said. “The need for these items is almost overwhelming and (the program) allows RSVP to use their resources in other ways.”

For the past several years, the Herald has displayed the HUGS box in its lobby during late November and early December. This year, additional area businesses have joined in on the cause, serving as drop-off sites. Lange said the Herald wanted to try covering more areas of town and Walgreens North and South and Dollar General, 1030 13th Ave. North, agreed to help.

Holiday Network distribution dates are Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. Herald employees will pick up the donations from participating businesses on Dec. 13.

Lange expects the collection to be a big success, adding that the community is very generous in supporting the HUGS program. Every year, the program receives large donations of hand-knitted hats and mittens as well as scarves.

“The donors have often spent the entire year making these items with this goal in mind,” Lange said.

Each year, the goal is to collect 9,000 items and this goal has been met or exceeded every time.

“A big thank you to the community for continuing to support this program. Without the community’s help this program would never have lasted as long as it has,” Lange said.

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