Winter clothing drive gathering donations for Mahoning Co. Children Services

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Choffin Career and Technical Center, which is hosting the drive, is looking for gloves, mittens, hats, socks and scarves

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The pandemic didn’t pause a holiday program that’s part of the history of downtown Youngstown. It’s even thriving in the cold weather this year.

The Mitten Tree is growing outside of Choffin Career and Technical Center.

The Early Childhood Education scholars are hosting their annual donation drive to collect necessary items in a new location with drive-up donations.

“It meets a need of children that are disadvantaged, that may not have the simple things that we take for granted: hats, gloves and winter gear,” said early education instructor Kaylor White.

The Mitten Tree normally collects 300 to 400 pairs of items.  The donations benefit Mahoning County Children Services and the Choffin students are glad to be helping them.

“It’s good to give. You may have it but others don’t, so it’s good to give to the people who don’t,” said student Nalina Shade.

Choffin Career & Technical Center has been collecting donations during the holiday season for around 40 years.

There was no way, remote learning was going to stop their collection. These gifts, as small as it may seem, are important for children.

“To not have a brain covered with warmth, they’re not ready for learning, so it just tears on a teacher’s heart when she sees her kids come in not having the proper winter gear,” White said.

The students have a container marked Mitten Tree outside of Choffin and they’re also available to collect your donation.

This is a community project for the Choffin students and they’re aware of the impact it will have on others.

“It actually means a lot because there’s a lot of people out there who really can’t afford this stuff, so it’s good that we’re giving it to them,” Shade said.

The collection started Monday and will continue Tuesday in the Choffin parking lot from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

They are looking for gloves, mittens, hats, socks and scarves.

Those items will go to Mahoning County Children Services.

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