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4-H Heads, Hands and Toes Winter Gear Drive Underway
Minnesota Ag Connection - 01/11/2021

Minnesota 4-H is challenging youth to help keep others warm this winter. The Head, Hands & Toes Winter Gear Drive runs through Feb. 15 in communities across Minnesota. Youth and the adults who care about them can purchase or make hats, mittens and other gear essential for safely enjoying Minnesota's winter landscapes. Gear collected through this drive will be donated to community partners who serve families in need.

Why is winter gear needed?

One out of every nine Minnesota children live in poverty. That means their families earn less than $25,000 a year. And on a typical night, more than 11,000 Minnesotans experience homelessness; 32% of them are children.

Winter gear is expensive and hard to prioritize above necessities like food, housing and healthcare. But we know that spending time outdoors has physical, mental and educational benefits for people of all ages. So let's help more Minnesotans access our shared outdoor environment -by connecting them with the gear they need to be safe, warm and ready to explore.

Youth, with the support of caring adults, have two ways of joining this statewide challenge:

- Contact your local Extension office to find a collection site near you. Depending on local gear needs, items to donate may include knit or fleece hats, mittens, wool socks, snow pants, coats and boots.

- Lead a local collection team. If you want to really extend your impact, use this guide to activate a local gear drive before Feb. 15. Find a community partner that serves youth and families who need a little help and collect exactly the items they most need.

Minnesota 4-H'ers pledge their whole selves -head, heart, hands and health- to making our world a better place. Join us in living out the 4-H Pledge through the Head, Hands & Toes Winter Gear Drive. You can make a difference for fellow Minnesotans this winter.

Questions can be directed to Nicole Pokorney, Extension educator and 4-H Outdoor Adventures team lead, at or 507-536-6304.

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