One out of every nine Minnesota children live in poverty … on a typical night, more than 11,000 Minnesotans experience homelessness; 32% of them are children.

Minnesota 4-H is challenging youth to help keep others warm this winter. 

The Head, Hands & Toes Winter Gear Drive runs Jan. 1 – Feb. 15 in communities across Minnesota. Youth and the adults who care about them can purchase or make hats, mittens and other gear essential for safely enjoying Minnesota’s winter landscapes. Gear collected through this drive will be donated to community partners who serve families in need.

Why is winter gear needed?

One out of every nine Minnesota children live in poverty. That means their families earn less than $25,000 a year. And on a typical night, more than 11,000 Minnesotans experience homelessness; 32% of them are children.

Winter gear is expensive and hard to prioritize above necessities like food, housing and healthcare. But we know that spending time outdoors has physical, mental and educational benefits for people of all ages. 

Contact your local Extension office to find a collection site near you. Depending on local gear needs, items to donate may include knit or fleece hats, mittens, wool socks, snow pants, coats and boots.