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Christmas in June: Donations needed to fulfill '3,000 Acts of Kindness'

The Plymouth-based nonprofit "Coated in Love" is looking for new winter essentials for a special day of kindness and compassion for Minnesota's homeless.

PLYMOUTH, Minnesota — Some may think preparing for Christmas in late June is too soon, but not for the team at Coated in Love.

The Plymouth-based nonprofit says this is the prime time to ramp up donations for the 3,000 Acts of Kindness initiative.

On Dec. 11, the Minneapolis Convention Center will be a haven for the city's homeless population.

The intent is for everyone who attends to leave with winter essentials.

Volunteer barbers and stylists will also give free haircuts and there will be a dentist on-site to perform exams.

"Instead of just talking about it, instead of driving past it, instead of ignoring it and acting like it doesn't exist, and it isn't a problem, we wanted to do something and also to offer people experiencing homelessness a day of dignity, and hope, and love, and compassion," said Danielle Igbanugo, founder of Coated in Love. "Just relax, and come in and join us, and have lunch and get the things you need. You have access to social service agencies, and everything you need is there. It's a one-stop shop."

According to the Minnesota Department of Health's Center for Excellence on Public Health and Homelessness, nearly 8,000 people were experiencing homelessness when the most recent official count was done on a single night in January 2022. 

Coated in Love anticipates nearly 3,000 people will come to the "3,000 Acts of Kindness" event looking for help.

In addition to winter essentials, attendees will have access to social services to help with temporary housing. 

You can help by making monetary donations, purchasing items off the Amazon Wish List or signing up to volunteer.

"There's so much need; we need coats, we need hats, we need mittens, we need hygiene kits, we need monetary donations, and we will do the shopping for you if you can't go out and do the shopping," said Igbanugo. 

This year's donations will be stored in a warehouse offered at a deep discount by Knowledge Computers in Plymouth. 

"It’s hard to look at an organization that is doing so much good as Coated in Love and not want to be part of it. You’ve already got a winning group that’s doing a lot of good in Minneapolis, and you want to be a part of that," said Jeffrey Wissman, controller at Knowledge Computers.

Igbanugo also said the Minneapolis Convention Center is offering a discounted space rental rate.

Find more information here.

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