Winter Warm-up is set for Saturday, December 9th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Logan County Fair Grounds. The community is asked to enter at the Main Street gate. Items available will include but are not limited to, coats, hats, gloves, clothing, bedding, and household items.
Winter Warm-up is an event where families in need can come and take as many clothing, bedding, and household items as they need, free of charge.
What started as one woman’s goal to help her community without having a bunch of money, has turned into helping over 300 families keep warm every winter. Gina Wenger, of Harper, began Winter Warm-up 20 years ago to somehow help her community without spending money she didn’t have. After some brainstorming with her parents, she decided that there were things in her own home that she wasn’t using, that she could donate to those in need.
She held the first event in 2003 and just had 3 families attend. Last year Gina and her crew of volunteers had over 300 families attend the event.
Formerly held at Harper Community Church and then First Friends Church in Bellefontaine, the ever-expanding event has now moved to the Logan County Fairgrounds. Gina, her parents, and a whole host of community volunteers collect donations throughout the year. The items are then sorted by size, gender, and type. They are then stored in tubs at the Harper Community Church. A few days before the event, everything is taken to the fairgrounds and put out on tables for the community.
Gina credits this event to her family, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, the Logan County Fair Board, Harper Community Church, First Friends Church, Hi-Point Free Will Baptist Church, and Ruch Church.