VCTR Asks You to Spread the Warmth this Holiday Season

Ashley Limesand
Staff Writer

As the holiday season draws near, the Valley City Times-Record, in our second year of this partnership with the Community Closet, would like to ask our generous Barnes County readers to help Spreading the Warmth this holiday season.

Beginning now through December 18 the Valley City Times-Record will accept donations of gently used or new winter coats, snowboots, snowpants, hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets for men, women, and children of all ages and sizes.

All donations can be dropped off at 146 Third St. NE, Valley City. Donated items will then be given to the local Community Closet and offered to those who would not otherwise be able to purchase such winter necessities.

Kalyn Botz, director of the Community Closet, says the 100 percent non-profit organization aims to assist those in need year-round by accepting donations and hosting a once-a-month rummage sale event where the donated items are put out for those in need to take for free.

Botz says that there are some misconceptions that the Community Closet is only for the Valley City area and she would like to clarify that people from all over the area are welcome to utilize what they have to offer.

She would also like to clarify that the program is open to people of all socioeconomic statuses as "At any time we as a community member could find ourselves in situations where we need contributions from others to help us along and then hopefully we can return the favor."

She concludes, "That is what a community does for one another. We don't worry about race, age, religion, or gender. We are members of this community and we help each other out."

Botz says the once-a-month events have increased in attendance as more organizations refer people to their services and that this season the Community Closet has a great need for kids coats, snowpants, and boots specifically. Also, new this year to the Spread the Warmth Drive is the acceptance of blankets and sheets as Botz has identified this need in her clients as well.

Last year the Times-Record collected 122 coats, 28 pairs of mittens, 27 hats, 12 scarves, 6 pairs of boots, 4 sweatshirts, and 5 snowpants.

The Times-Record is excited to partner again with this vital community organization and Spread the Warmth for a second year as Publisher Bill Parsons states, "This very special time of the year is a wonderful time to not only give thanks for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon you and your family, but it is also a time to think about those less fortunate. For many, the holidays are a very cold reminder of the simple things like food and clothing that they don’t have."

He adds, "We are proud to be a long-time member of these communities and we are blessed to offer a helping hand."

Parsons continues, "We at the Times-Record would like to ask you to offer a helping hand to your fellow man. On behalf of the Times-Record staff, I want to thank you for giving and wish each of you a most blessed and happy holiday season."

The Times-Record hopes to see your Christmas cheer this season as we work together to Spread the Warmth. Donations are welcome in our office, located at 146 Third St. NE through Dec. 18. For more information call 701-845-0463.

The next Community Closet open house will be on November 13 from 5-7 p.m. at their new location, 658 Fourth St. SW, upstairs in the old Rec Center. For more information on the Community Closet people are invited to communicate through the Valley City Community Closet Facebook page or to call 845-0256 and ask for Kalyn Botz.