The community center is soliciting donations for a winter clothing drive

FORT MADISON (WGEM) – Residents of Lee County are preparing for the cold with a winter clothing drive.

Committed duo Edward Gutting and Tessa White have been receiving help from the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Community Service Center for three years.

“Helped us with food, clothes, shoes, medical care like neck pillows, blankets, a bed, we got a couch,” White said.

After White suffered a neck injury five years ago, the couple survived solely on gutting earnings.

“It’s nice to know that if we’re having a hard time during the week and we have to pay rent or something, we’re not going to go without toothpaste or hygiene, deodorant whatever,” Gutting said.

Director Janie Warner said she too has been in need which is why she is so committed to providing this service to the community.

“For me, I’ve been in those positions so I understand how difficult it is when you need help and we love being able to give back and that’s a calling for us, you know we feel like that God put us here to do this,” Warner said.

Within the community, the SDA Center has been dubbed the “free store” by providing clothing, toiletries, furniture and food to people in need.

“You have the homeless, you have people who have had fires, people who have just lost their jobs, there are so many if they don’t have the money they have to have something and they know we care,” Warner says.

Warner is looking for donations of all sizes of snow coats, hats and pants.

She said she was particularly looking for winter clothes for children and plus sizes.

That’s it for the center’s upcoming winter clothing drive.

“They can get a coat for each person and then choose a hoodie or a sweatshirt to start the winter off,” Warner said.

If you are in need, you can come to the center on Sunday October 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Fort Madison SDA Center is open 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Warner said if you find yourself in dire need, contact her on the center Facebook page.

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Jill E. Washington