What started out as one woman’s goal to help her community without having a bunch of money, has turned into helping over 200 families keep warm every winter.
Gina Wenger, of Harper, began Winter Warm-up 19 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 200 families attend the event.
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.
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.
Winter Warm-up is set for Saturday, December 10 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 and follow the signs. Items available will include but are not limited to, coats, hats, gloves, clothing, bedding, and household items.
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.