Mission: We Hear You works to keep people warm this winter

A small business focused on music drummed up support for a clothing giveaway outside Pillars...
A small business focused on music drummed up support for a clothing giveaway outside Pillars Adult & Family Shelter Sunday.(Darrian Kaye)
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 9:54 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A small business focused on music drummed up support for a clothing giveaway outside Pillars Adult & Family Shelter Sunday.

“What do we look like as a country walking on streets paved of gold with people freezing on them?” Organizer and Inner City Sound CEO Darrian Kaye inquired.

27-year-old Kaye works to break down barriers for people in need. She started a job in Minneapolis age the age of 18... seeing firsthand the dangers of a brutal winter.

“When I was walking into work I’d walk past people who were freezing... who had stayed there all night, overnight. Some of them even losing their lives.”

The experience isn’t uncommon. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported more than 400 deaths from cold temperatures in our state between 2010 and 2018.

“A lot of people in Wisconsin don’t see it. They think only the bigger cities or the warmer places have homelessness. No. It’s everywhere,” Patrick Wenborg said. “It’s hiding more in Wisconsin especially during the colder months but you can go underneath some of the viaducts, the bridges. They’re living under there to keep warm.”

Darrian, Patrick and a handful of other volunteers sorted through almost 1000 donated items to get people the things they need to stay warm this winter.

It’s all part of the Mission: We Hear You campaign.

“This was all done free of charge. This was a matter of just a dozen people or less really going through their closets and really making a change and saying, ‘hey, this could go to someone more in need than me’,” Kaye explained.

“I’ve seen a lot of good smiles already,” Wenborg continued. “That warms me up. As cold as it is outside, I could stand out here all day as long as I get that.”

The giveaway eliminated roadblocks some people in need face each day. No ID or proof of need was required to get things like jackets, blankets, gloves and even hand warmers.

“...you have to prove that you either work enough hours or not enough hours. You have to prove what your expenses are. You have to have the transportation to get down there,” Kaye said. “These are all hoops that people have to jump through and when they’re in that state they just don’t have the ability to... I think it’s about time that we think about grassroots in a different way.”

Inner City Sound collects donations year round.

“Even if you think oh, I only have a couple of items to donate or I don’t know if I have that much to give... those one or two things really make a difference.”

Any items left are being taken to encampments in Appleton, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

Head to Inner City Sound’s website to learn more. The site features contact information if you’d like to donate to help people get vital supplies this winter or if you’re struggling and would like some assistance.

You can also follow the organization on social media to see their latest charitable efforts.