GFWC provides year-round clothing items through Katie's Kloset

REED CITY — Although many local families struggle with a need to provide their children with appropriate winter clothing to keep them warm during the cold months. A local group is doing what they can to offset that need.

Through Katie's Kloset, members of the Reed City General Federation of Women’s Club have been providing clothing and shoes for elementary students in need. During the winter, it also provides coats, boots, snow pants, mittens, gloves and hats. The charity is in memory of Katie Scharlow, who passed away in 2012 after battling cancer.

"There have been a lot of children in need," said GFWC member Shelly Scharlow. "The need has come early this year and it has seemed like we have been working hard to get the kids snow pants, boots and other things for winter."

Donations for Katie's Kloset come from local organizations and businesses, as well as the GFWC's annual 5K event, which takes place each June. The group members have been working hard to make every dollar stretch, as they take full advantage of clearance offerings, online deals and recent Black Friday sales. Thanks to their thrifty diligence, they have saved about $1,500 this year alone.

Peggy Windquist and her daughter Jessie have been members of the GFWC since 2012 and enjoy being a part of clothing children in times of need.

Some of the children who receive the assistance attend Reed City Head Start. In the past couple of months, Katie's Kloset has provided hats, mittens and boots for children whose families cannot afford the items. In addition, the program has given extra winter accessories for the school to keep on hand when students forget them at home.

"It's a great program to have in our community," said Head Start Lead Teacher Jenna Thompson. "We use it quite often during the winter months. We give the GFWC a call, tell them a size we need and they make sure to try and have it to us the next day."

For more information about the GFWC or Katie's Kloset, contact Shelly Scharlow at (231) 832-3178 or Peggy and Jessie Windquist at (231) 832-5629.