Weather Forecast


Area churches, drycleaners collect blankets for the needy

From left, owner Mark Hockert, ARC Northland and North Star Executive Director Dan Williams and Red Cross volunteer Ken Vertin.1 / 2
Four overflowing carts of blankets were given to the American Red Cross outside Hockerts Cleaners.2 / 2

Over 150 needy people will be warmer this winter.

Some caring ladies from the Menahga Assembly of God and Our Saviour's Lutheran Church teamed up with Hockert's Cleaners to collect blankets to the American Red Cross and Caring and Sharing Hands.

Mark Hockert, owner of Hockert's Cleaners, handed over the blankets Dec. 27 to Dan Williams, Executive Director of the Northland and North Star Chapters of the American Red Cross and Ken Vertin, an American Red Cross volunteer.

The Assembly of God church has been gathering quilts since 1995. Approximately 1,000 quilts have been made by the ladies so far. Our Saviour's Lutheran Church also collected several quilts and blankets for the blanket drive.

The Minnesota Cleaners Association began the blanket drive Sept. 1 and continued through Oct. 31 to provide warmth to Minnesotans who are without a home this winter. Hockerts spent many hours cleaning the blankets in preparation for their delivery.

"I really wanted to donate to an organization that helps people who have lost their homes in fires and need extra blankets for their kids. I also wanted to help out locally," Hockert said.

The Northland and North Star chapters service the Bemidji, Duluth, Park Rapids, Menahga, Sebeka and Wadena communities.