Low-income families collect winter clothing at Warm Up Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Kalee Day is a stay-at home mom. She cares for her two children all on her own. 

"I don't have the income to provide for my kids the way that I would need to," Day said. 

She was one of 532 low-income people who "shopped" for winter clothing at no cost on Saturday morning. The Warm Up Columbia event helped alleviate her stress.

"I won't have to be struggling to find different resources to pay for that," Day said.

The event, hosted by the Voluntary Action Center, features "any gently used coats, hats, gloves, scarves, even new socks and blankets for families in the community to keep them warm throughout the winter," program coordinator Olivia Little said. 

Last year, Little said about 300 people came to event in need of winter clothing. 

"There are a lot of folks who don't have the kind of items that we take for granted, especially with the homeless population in this town," Little said.

She said various businesses and churches donate to the event, including Commerce Bank, Shelter Insurance and D&H Drugstore.

"Any leftover items, we distribute to other agencies in town," Little said.

The agencies will receive the remaining clothes on Monday. The event is in its 14th year.