The Gundersen Lutheran Nursing Department kicked off its annual "Wrapping the Community in Warmth" blanket drive Friday.
They’re collecting blankets that will be given to several area agencies, including the Salvation Army, New Horizons, Birth Right, St. Clare Health Mission, Community Liaison, Gerard Hall, Houston County Women's Resource Center and Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation. Some blankets will also be given to patients at the hospital.
Other departments in the hospital are also taking part in the drive. Last year more than 1,200 blankets were distributed. Event organizers say this year the need is just as great.
"Every year the economy has just hit a lot of people, and it's amazing to think that the 1,000 blankets plus are used not just in the La Crosse area, but also Minnesota and Iowa," said Kathy Koehne, RN, Gundersen Lutheran Department of Nursing. "They are always much needed and appreciated by the agencies that we are able to donate the blankets to."
The blanket drive runs Friday, December 7 through January 13. So far, about 300 blankets have been donated. You can drop off new or gently used blankets at Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse at one of the valet parking sites, or at the Gundersen Lutheran Onalaska clinic. For more information about the drive you can call the nursing department at (608) 775-73-41.