The Wisconsin Department of Tourism and the state’s tourism industry are hoping to make this winter a little warmer for those in need.
“The Big Bundle Up” is a statewide charity drive to collect new and gently used gloves, hats, scarves, coats, sweaters and other winter gear that will be donated to Wisconsin charities around the state.
Nearly 80 sites located at Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers, tourist information and visitor centers, businesses and offices are serving as drop-off sites through Jan. 4. The Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center on Business 151 is one of the drop-off sites.
Visitors can also donate warm clothing items at Lambeau Field prior to the start of the Green Bay Packers football game Sunday. The Department of Tourism also is encouraging all Wisconsin businesses to do their part and follow the lead of companies like Wisconsin Knitwear, which donated 500 winter hats to the program.
“Last year’s ‘mitten debate’ with Michigan turned into a very positive charitable campaign,” said Gov. Scott Walker. “With the support of tourism organizations who have stepped up to serve as collection sites along with the generosity of everyone who makes a donation, we’ll keep the momentum going and help Wisconsin families stay warm this winter.”
Last year’s Great Lakes Mitten Campaign drew national media coverage and generated a collection of more than 3,100 winter items for Wisconsin charities. Donated items came from as far as Virginia and sparked Wisconsin classrooms and private businesses to contribute. In addition, the campaign won four national media and public relations awards, including the prestigious U.S. Travel Association’s Mercury Award.
“The response to last year’s charity drive from both the tourism industry and those who donated was incredible. Our tourism partners urged us to continue this as an annual program and make it even bigger,” said Stephanie Klett, secretary of the state Department of Tourism. “We’re proud of their commitment and shared goal to collect as many winter items as possible for their local communities.”