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Grace Lutheran Church and Preschool hosting clothing giveaway

The Grace Lutheran Church and Preschool are hosting a clothing giveaway next week.

The semi-annual event will occur on Friday, October 21, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, October 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church at 305 5th Ave. E. Event organizers Amber Veltkamp and Lisa Lear both enjoy being able to help out the community.

"It's fun to see many of the same people return each spring and fall, to catch up with them, and to watch their families grow. We love meeting new people at each giveaway, too, and to hear that people appreciate what we've done. It's a lot of work, but so worth it when people tell us how much it helps. Sometimes Mom or Dad comes in to load up several huge bags for the household, and sometimes each family member gets his/ her own bag to shop for new seasonal clothing. Everything has gotten more expensive, and this is a good way to help ease one burden for Three Forks' families," Veltkamp said.

Because young children grow quickly, Lear and Veltkamp said it can be hard to justify buying a few new outfits, knowing they won't fit for long.

"If parents can come shop for free, they don't have to worry about that. It's fun recognizing clothes that have been passed down a few times: this was my daughter's, then your daughter wore it, then someone took it a couple of giveaways ago, and look, it's back again. I wonder who will wear it next?" Veltkamp said.

With the event nearing, organizers are also looking for extra hands with setting up and cleaning up.

"The community is amazing at donating to the giveaway, and we certainly couldn't host it without donations. In the past, with enough help, the giveaway could be set up in a single day. The past couple years have taken us at least three days to set up. We go through all donations- some stuff goes straight in the trash (worn-out socks & underwear, t-shirts with stains or holes in the armpits, threadbare linens, etc.), and everything else gets sorted by size. We start the giveaway with everything folded or on hangers," said Veltkamp. "We'd love to have more people help with sorting and set up: many hands make light work. We've managed to get it all done these past few giveaways, but we're getting old and tired, so we'd appreciate the help. Volunteers get early shopping privileges, too."

With preschool running through Tuesday, the 18th, and no place to store items, Lear and Veltkamp ask that donations not be dropped off until the week of the event.

Donations can be left under the covered awning of the church anytime that week.

"We will plan to spend all day Wednesday and Thursday setting up for the giveaway, so if people drop off donations, they can bring them inside the preschool door, the single door to the right of the double church doors," Veltkamp said.

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