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Local Charities Struggle to Keep Up with Winter Need

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- Michelle Bittner spends most of her mornings trying to find clothes for her son and teenage daughter.
"She's into skirts, and I think it will fit," Bittner said.
It's a chore the single mother says gets harder to do, the colder it gets outside.
"My kids are growing so fast that the coats from last year aren't big enough," she said.
"To buy new coats costs so much."
So she like many others in need go to places like Olivet Neighborhood Mission.
"As the weather changes, we see more people coming in, " said Jan Thomas, director of the mission.
Theyre looking for blankets, coats, and things to help keep warm.
"We see about 100 to 125 people every day," Thomas said.
The mission hired extra staff to keep up with the high demand that they say keeps growing.
"It does break my heart," Thomas said.
The need is just as overwhelming at Crossroads Mission.
"The clothes just come in the back door as quick as they go out the front door," said executive director Vicar Pat Kane.
During the colder months, the clothes and coat racks at the mission are bare within a week.
"They clothes are just gone," Kane said.
And on the backs of people like Michelle who are grateful for even the smallest help meeting her family's biggest need.
'They'll be warm this winter," Bittner said.
 
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