Warm Up Columbia helps clothe the community
COLUMBIA - Volunteers started gathering at the Armory in Columbia at 7:30 Saturday morning to prepare to disrupt piles of winter gear to Boone County residents.
Warm Up Columbia Coordinator Lisa Restivo said when she got to the Armory there was a line up people up the stairs and around the corner of Ash Street to receive clothing to help get them through the winter season.
The clothing drive was sponsored by D&H Drugstore. Jenny Brooks, D&H Marketing director, volunteered at the event all day and helped people match scarves and pick up coats.
"I just wanted to be here to help people," Brooks said. "That's my goal. And we had clothing bins at our stores for the past month to try and get people to donate."
"Warm up Columbia is where Boone County residents can pick out items for free, we have coats, hats, gloves, scarves, socks and blankets and other miscellaneous warm clothing items," Restivo said.
This year marks the 10th year of Warm Up Columbia. KOMU 8 News spoke to the director of the Voluntary Action Center, Nick Foster, and he said the clothing drive was very well organized this year.
"We had ten volunteers and we were here all morning the day before to get everything sorted and organized," Restivo said.
Most of the clothing comes from local church donations and Restivo said the amount of donations given was incredible this year. She said when she's at Warm Up Columbia it's rewarding to see her hard work to put on the event pays off with the customers.
"This is a basic need to me," Restivo said. "Something that seems so basic, having coats, especially for children and people who don't have a permanent residence. When you see the looks on people's faces after going through and getting these items for free that just really makes a big difference."
The remaining winter gear will be given to 17 local agencies on Monday to help keep spreading the warmth.