MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Spread Sunshine Gang is once again donating winter items to the needy in Minnesota, through its event “Bundle Up, MN!” But, it’s not your typical winter gear distribution.

“We collect warm winter items, and then we put them out in [Loring] Park. It makes the park looks really cute, pretty and festive, and then anyone who wants anything can just take it with them,” founder and CEO Nickie Kromminga Hill explains.

The group collected more than 1,300 coats, hats, mittens, scarves, boots, and snow pants, and will drop them off at four different parks in Minneapolis and St. Paul throughout the winter.

“We always come back 24 hours later and so far, everything has been taken,” Kromminga Hill said.

Volunteers drove in from all over the metro area to give of their time. Chris Karki and her family are from Maple Grove to help out.

“We just love having an opportunity to do something good and to experience that first hand with other families, other kids, and know that we are making an actual difference,” Karki said.

The Hirschs are from Northfield, and 9-year-old Nika helped collect 500 items just from the city of Northfield alone!

“She really loves doing kind things and looking out for others. That sort of motivates her…to get out and do good,” Nika’s mom Jana said. Nika explained why she helped out for the Bundle Up Minnesota Event, “I like that I know that I am going to be helping other people stay warm for the winter.”

There will be two more Bundle Up Minnesota winter distributions this year. On January 31st, the group will decorate Nicollet Mall at Peavey Park, and Mears Park in St. Paul on February 2nd. If you would like to help out, please click here.

Katie Steiner