Willing hands

Cameron students were among those who helped with the annual coat drive hosted by four area Catholic parishes. They include, front row, from left, Peter Wise and Jorey Feidt. Second row, Lexi Kuffel, Lauren Carlisle, Mallory Duerkop, and religious education teacher Cara Hall. Back row, Carter Cherney, Chase Hauck, Luke Sullivan and Owen Hamholm. Photo contributed by Mindy Hamilton

Members of four Roman Catholic parishes in Cameron, Chetek, Barron, and the Rusk County community of Strickland recently organized a winter coat drive, according to Jean Malsom, a member of St. Peter Catholic Church in Cameron.

Malsom said that volunteers collected more than 75 coats, three dozen blankets and numerous other hats and mittens, along with a few pairs of snow pants and some miscellaneous items.

The items were distributed on Nov. 5, 2022.

The demand was highest for the youngest users, she added.

“All of the children’s items were completely gone,” Malsom reported. “I know we served more than 50 people.”

Remaining items were donated to Benjamin’s House, the Rice Lake homeless shelter, for their Compassion Closet, she added.

Volunteers on hand for the Nov. 5 distribution included Sharon Kaiser, Linda Zych, Mary Gerber, Joan Stucky, Brett and Laura Sauve, and Malsom.

Also helping were Grade 10 students from the St. Peter’s Church “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” (CCD) class.

The students and their teacher, Cara Hall, met with Malsom and Kaiser on Nov. 2 to help get the coat drive ready.

Sauve coordinated advertising for the drive, and collection boxes were set up at all four churches in the parish and at the Government Center in Barron. Donors were also able to leave items at the parish cluster office in Barron during business hours.