Aberdeen Hat & Mitten Drive expands requested donations

Instead of just hats and mittens, the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce is requesting socks, undergarments and school supplies to be donated as well.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 5:48 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The weather is cooling down, and that means it’s time to break out your hats, gloves and scarves.

Since 2013, the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors have asked the community to donate those type of items to student in need during their Hats & Mittens Drive.

”Obviously, it gets very cold here, usually very early on in the year. A lot of kids are going to school without hats and mittens, so we try to provide as many of those as we can for the kids that need them,” said Courtney Hostetter, a Chamber Ambassador and Insurance Plus agent.

After speaking with local school district employees, however, the Chamber realized there was a need for other items.

“Visiting with the principals and superintendents from around the area, we decided that we would actually expand it a little bit this year to take on some other needs and maybe expand it to some personal items and socks and other school supplies that the students are in need of also,” said Chamber Ambassador Judy Vrchota.

One of the items requested that shocked Vrchota was socks.

“I know that one of them that they mentioned to add would be socks. A lot of the students in the winter, when they have boots on and their shoes get wet and that sort of thing, one of them that they mentioned that. So, we’re adding, in addition to the hat and mittens, socks this year. That’s a big one that we’re asking for,” said Vrchota.

Other items added to the list of requested donations this year include undergarments, clothing and school supplies. Chamber of Commerce Director of Membership and Engagement Kami Spieker says they want to help the teachers who have to replace the school supplies that get used up in the first semester.

”A lot of kids are hard on their school supplies. It’s not a surprise that crayons get broken, glue gets used up,” said Spieker.

A list of the items needed is available on the Chamber’s website, and those items can be dropped off at the donation boxes placed at over a dozen businesses around Aberdeen.

For those who don’t want to do the shopping, the Chamber will do it for you.

”If you want to, you can actually just go to the Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street and donate cash and we’ll go out and do the shopping for you if you’d rather have us do that,” said Vrchota.

The Hat & Mitten Drive will run through December 12th, and the donated items will be dispersed to students in the school district after the holiday break.