Airstream extends clothing drive


By Patricia Ann Speelman - pspeelman@aimmedianetwork.com



Jimmy Steele, of Wilmington, Ohio, throws bags of donations from the Airstream parking lot collection box onto a truck on Thursday, July 16.

Jimmy Steele, of Wilmington, Ohio, throws bags of donations from the Airstream parking lot collection box onto a truck on Thursday, July 16.


Steele and Barry Barney, of Cleveland, load their truck with bags of donations from the collection bins in the Airstream parking lot, on Thursday, July 16.


Steele and Barney bag up loose items from the collection bins in the Airstream parking lot on Thursday, July 16.


JACKSON CENTER — Due to its success, the employees of Airstream Inc. have extended a clothing drive to benefit Special Olympics.

The drive began July 13 and in the first two days, 3,500 pounds of textiles were donated. Thursday, another 2,800 pounds

“Wow! Way to go Airstream,” wrote Bob Knecht, sales manager of Ohio Mills Corp., in an email to company organizers early this week. Ohio Mills Corp. manages the logistics of textile drives in four states and funnels proceeds to Special Olympics.

Originally scheduled to end July 20, the Airstream effot has been extended until July 27. Bins in which to put donations are in the Airstream parking lot, the first right turn off Airstream Drive, and in the Jackson Center Pro Hardware parking lot, 112 E. Pike St.

Area residents are encouraged to clean out their closets and chests of drawers to support the organization that helps individuals with developmental disabilities overcome barriers through sports.

All kinds of textiles and shoes, belts, jewelry, hats and handbags will be accepted. People can donate clothing, towels, linens, blankets, scarves and gloves. The company will take items that are in good condition, as well as items that are stained or torn.

According to publicity materials, 95 percent of textiles can be recycled.

The goal had been to fill at least two bins during the local drive, which would have equaled 3,000 pounds of clothing and other items. That goal was exceeded in the first two days and almost met again in the next two.

“We thought we were going to have two bins, but they put two bins at each location, so there are four,” said Christine McKenzie, executive administrative assistant to the president and CEO and senior vice president of operations at Airstream and an organizer of the project. The money generated by the drive will be presented to Special Olympics on behalf of Airstream.

The company plans to make the drive an annual effort but if donations continue at the current rate, it may become a semi-annual project, McKenzie said.

Special Olympics provides year-round competition opportunities for the athletes at the local, area and state levels. There are approximately 75 local and area events and Special Olympics Ohio hosts seven state-wide competitions each year. In addition, every two years, Special Olympics Ohio sends a team of athletes to compete in the World Games, which alternate between winter and summer sports.

Special Olympics Ohio has approximately 200 local member organizations and more than 23,000 athletes who are in train

Jimmy Steele, of Wilmington, Ohio, throws bags of donations from the Airstream parking lot collection box onto a truck on Thursday, July 16.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2015/07/web1_IMG_08001.jpgJimmy Steele, of Wilmington, Ohio, throws bags of donations from the Airstream parking lot collection box onto a truck on Thursday, July 16.

Steele and Barry Barney, of Cleveland, load their truck with bags of donations from the collection bins in the Airstream parking lot, on Thursday, July 16.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2015/07/web1_IMG_0787.jpgSteele and Barry Barney, of Cleveland, load their truck with bags of donations from the collection bins in the Airstream parking lot, on Thursday, July 16.

Steele and Barney bag up loose items from the collection bins in the Airstream parking lot on Thursday, July 16.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2015/07/web1_IMG_0796.jpgSteele and Barney bag up loose items from the collection bins in the Airstream parking lot on Thursday, July 16.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

pspeelman@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.