Deadline nearing to donate mitts for children

This year’s “Mitts for Kids—Helping Hands” campaign is wrapping up, with cash donation boxes being picked up later today while the last day to donate mitts for children is this Friday (Dec. 9).
Campaign organizer Melissa Gushulak said yesterday it’s hard to tell at this point, but this year’s drive seems to have been a total success.
“We’ve probably got four garbage bags full of mitts, hand-made ones, donated so far,” she noted. “And I’ve had quite a few phone calls come in about the mitts, with people asking if it’s too late to donate.
“I also heard [the mitt collection at] the Santa Claus parade was pretty good,” added Gushulak, saying she felt confident she has enough mitts to meet the demand of the local Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program.
If there’s any extra, those mitts will go to the Couchiching First Nation hampers.
With the possibility that there’s enough mitts for that program, too, money will be used to buy mitts for older kids and adults (most people donate mitts made for younger children).
Gushulak said the deadline to drop off new hand-made or store-bought mitts, winter hats, and scarves at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office (474 Scott St.) is 4 p.m. this Friday, as the Salvation Army will start putting together its hampers around Dec. 11 or 12.
She’ll be turning in the cash tomorrow from the 46 collection boxes that were placed at various locations around town last month.
A tradition first started here by Jan Hall-Bosma in the fall of 2000, the “Mitts for Kids—Helping Hands” was taken over by Gushulak this year. She had helped Hall-Bosma in the past.
“It went really well. It was fast-paced,” Gushulak noted, referring to the fact the drive really only began about three weeks ago.
Gushulak has been assisted by 2005 Fun in the Sun Queen Sarah DeGagne, First Princess Jenna Cousineau, and Second Princess Brittany Hayes.
Hall-Bosma previously said she had to step aside this year due to unforeseen personal circumstances.
Anyone wanting more information on how to donate hand-made or store-bought mittens, hats, or scarves, to make a cash donation, or to help in any other way can call Gushulak (274-5206) or Hall-Bosma (274-0206).