Flying socks and gloves in the lobby of the Home State Bank and Trust heralded in another year of the Community Mitten Tree.
The McPherson Chapter of the K-State 4-H Wildkids decorated the tree Wednesday. Socks, mittens, gloves and monetary donations are received by the Wildkids every year for the event. Twelve students filled the lobby of the bank and covered the Christmas tree in the lobby with all manner of warm clothing.
Jana McKinney, community club leader, said the clothing is collected for kids in McPherson County who don’t have them. The Wildkids distribute the winter wear to elementary schools across the county.
And it’s not just kids who need them. Tammy Odle, also a community club leader, said depending on the sizes available, Wildkids will make donations to senior centers and other areas that need them.
The Wildkids McPherson was organized in 2005, but the mitten tree has provided winter wear for more than 35 years.
“It’s a neat tradition that the McPherson Community has carried on throughout the years,” Odle said. “It’s a neat, fun thing.”
The children said they enjoy donating to the community.
“It’s kind of like a duty, but it’s more pleasurable than that. We’re happy to continue to do it,” Trenton Goering, 17, chairman for Wildkids, said.
The official kick-off of the mitten donations will happen at the Community Carol-Along on Nov. 29, where Odle said the students will perform a skit and provide some more information.