State collects winter items to get all Wisconsinites “bundled up”

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MILWAUKEE -- It may not feel like winter yet, but the state's Department of Tourism is making sure all of Wisconsin is "bundled up" this season.  From now until January 4th, it is collecting new and gently used winter items for people in need.

This is the second year the department is taking a lead during the season of giving.

“It was really geared toward kids at first.  We learned very quickly at the drop off sites that people, adults, would say, ‘Can I take a pair?’  And so the need knows no age,” Secretary of Tourism Stephanie Klett said.

Last year, Wisconsin and Michigan teamed up for the “Great Mitten Debate," turning competition into a charitable campaign.  The response was overwhelming.

“We ended up with 3,100 donated pairs of mittens and it was really a win-win for Michigan and Wisconsin,” Klett said.

This time around, the initiative is called the "Big Bundle Up," in which any cold weather gear is accepted.

“It's the 'Big Bundle Up' because, really, we want everything.  Snow pants and scarves, earmuffs and hats.  Anything that can keep folks warm.  Any winter item, we're accepting,” Klett said.

There are 80 drop-off sites throughout the state, including convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce and Travel Wisconsin welcome centers.

In Milwaukee, you can donate winter items at Laughlin Constable, located on the corner of Water St. and Michigan St.

The Green Bay Packers will also be collecting winter items at Lambeau Field before the game this Sunday, December 9th.

For a full list of collection locations, click here.