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Walmart donates $14,000 in infant clothing to Someplace Safe

Staff at Wadena's Walmart open boxes of infant clothing Aug. 28. The clothes were destined for area families in need. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal1 / 3
Wadena Walmart store manager John Wakeman unwraps a pallet full of infant clothing before it's loaded into a trailer headed for Someplace Safe offices and thrift stores in the area. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal2 / 3
Walmart employees show off some of the infant clothes pulled from boxes Aug. 28, that will be shared with those in need in Wadena and surrounding communities. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal3 / 3

Sometimes accidents have happy endings.

The staff at Wadena's Walmart happened upon an accidental order of $14,000 in infant clothing—a heaping pallet full of onesies and other clothes for those 0-24 months in age.

"Our company made a happy accident," store manager John Wakeman confessed as he shared what happened next.

As staff members contemplated how the order came through, the idea came forward that the clothes could be donated to those in need. Someplace Safe came to mind as a local organization that serves those who are victims of a crime. After some discussion it was decided Someplace Safe would get the donation to share with their nine county service area including the 10 Someplace Safe advocacy offices in Big Stone, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, Wadena and Wilkin counties. Wakeman was thankful to staff members that helped make the donation happen. Someplace Safe was overjoyed to be the recipient.

"We are excited to receive such a generous donation from Walmart," stated Lori Hanson, director of operations at Someplace Safe. "The infant clothing is going to help many area crime victims and families in need."

On Tuesday, Aug. 28, Walmart staff rolled out the pallet of clothes, which contained 3,408 pieces of infant clothing, according to claims associate Kylie Mohrman. They pulled out the brightly colored shirts and imagined who would be wearing them soon. Soon they'll be drooled on, splashed with applesauce and at least momentarily kept on a child—they have an exciting future.

After the clothes are distributed to the local advocacy centers, the remaining clothing is to be distributed to Someplace Safe Thrift Stores in Alexandria and Morris. The Someplace Safe Thrift Stores exist to help raise funds, which support the programs and services provided by Someplace Safe, Hanson said. Those stores also provide needed clothing, household items and furniture to victims and survivors who are in need of such items after experiencing crime or abuse. The stores also partner with local agencies to provide community members who are experiencing hardships with store vouchers in their time of need. In fact, in the last year, 170 vouchers have been issued to local individuals at a value exceeding $15,000, according to a press release from Someplace Safe.

While the donation was a big one for the local Walmart, Wakeman decided to make the day even bigger by announcing donations of $2,000 to the local Empty Stocking Fund, and $1,400 to the Shop with a Cop program.

"We're just happy we can give back," Wakeman said. Assistant manager Mary Rasmussen echoed that statement noting the significance of such a donation to a large area.

For more information on Someplace Safe, visit their website at SomeplaceSafe.info. If you or someone you know are a victim of a crime, contact your local Someplace Safe office or call 1-800-974-3359.

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