Members of the Kirn Cares club mark the results of Socktober after loading the items collected into a van from New Visions. Pictured are (front, from left) Natalei Reicks, Sidnie Clark, Cassie Killion, Stephanie Roche, Skyler Miller, Vicky Ries, Lily Boland and Amerikiss Black; (back, from left) Kassidy Fiala, Annika Burnette and McKenna Morgan.

Kirn Middle School really socked it to Socktober.

The Kirn Cares club led a drive to collect socks, winter clothing and personal items named on a needs list from New Visions Homeless Services, said Elana Zalar, coordinator of Kirn’s after-school program .

The drive started in early October, Zalar said. Homeroom classes from each grade competed to see who could collect the most. The harvest almost filled a display case in the west end of the school, and the goods included much more than socks.

“It’s a really big variety – mostly clothing, blankets and then some hygiene items, because they don’t get much of that,” she said.

The top class in each grade won a breakfast party.

On Tuesday, club members helped load the goods into a New Visions van so they could be hauled to the New Visions campus in north-central Council Bluffs.

“This was a good start to get us going for the holiday season,” said Brandy Wallar, program director at New Visions.

The mission will give away items during its annual Community-wide Christmas Celebration and Giveaway from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the New Visions campus at 1435 N. 15th St., Wallar said.

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“We serve about 2,000 people from southwest Iowa (during the event), so we collect really any food and gifts,” she said.

New Visions usually collects about 30,000 items in preparation for the party, Wallar said.

“We’ll have a tent, and we’ll organize clothing by sizes,” she said. “They are able to get coats that night,” as well as hats, gloves and blankets.

New Visions Homeless Services operates Joshua House — southwest Iowa’s only emergency shelter for men — as well as Timothy House Transitional Living Program and the Mohm’s Place meal site in Council Bluffs. It also operates David’s House Permanent Supportive Housing and the Dr. Maurice J. Hart Veterans Complex in Omaha. For more information, visit mohmsplace.org.

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