Put a little chill in your heart

I was never the mom who planned ahead. If it was a birthday, I was the lady running through the grocery store bakery at 5:05 p.m., hoping there was still some kind of cake left into which I could stick a candle.

When it was back to school, I was picking through the scrawny collection of color crayons and notebooks on Labor Day.

If one boy needed a white shirt for a school concert, I was in the store 45 minutes before showtime, hoping something might fit him.

The same lack-of-planning method applied to getting ready for winter. I never thought about winter coats or mittens or gloves until I saw white flakes starting to accumulate on my sidewalk. It was quite a problem when the boys were little, because the chances that last year’s winter coat would fit this year were pretty slim.

It was a lucky season when I could find gloves that matched (or almost matched). One black glove, one navy blue glove, both in boys large, not the same style – good enough for me.

I know I’m not alone. It’s really hard to think about parkas, boots and mittens when the sun is shining and its 70 degrees outside. The kids are still wearing shorts – who wants to think about sleet and wind chills?

Well, the folks at Pilgrim Dry Cleaners would love it if you’d take a few minutes to go through your closets and see if you have a gently used coat or jacket that could be donated to this year’s Coats for Kids drive.

Each year, Pilgrim Cleaners joins with several media sponsors to collect coats for Minnesota’s children. Sun Newspapers, WCCO Radio and KARE-11 TV are media sponsors; Subway is also a sponsor. The goal this year is to collect 10,000 coats. Pilgrim cleans the donated items and then distributes to local charities, which in turn shares the coats with families in need. Collection barrels are located at each Pilgrim location as well as Sun Newspapers’ offices in Osseo and Eden Prairie. Coats of all sizes — from baby through adult — are welcomed.

I urge you to “think chilly” and check through your family’s coat collection. There’s probably several coats or jackets that your children have outgrown but are still in great shape. There’s another kid out there somewhere who would just love to have that coat this winter.

It will get cold – we will need to bundle up. Let’s put a little chill in our hearts from now through Oct. 12, and donate to Coats for Kids.


Peggy Bakken can be reached at [email protected]