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Damien mitten tree drive now underway

The Damien Society's annual Mitten Tree drive is underway.

Started by the Damien Society 40 years ago, it's an event that helps men and women, young and old.

"It's a long-standing tradition," drive coordinator DelRae Chivers said.

Chivers said that 12 Christmas trees are placed at businesses around Detroit Lakes.

All people need to do to participate is just buy a new pair of hats, scarves, gloves or mittens and place them on a tree.

"They go to anyone in need," Chivers said.

The number of items donated has ebbed and flowed for the past few years.

Chivers said that they had more than 700 items a few years ago, with that number dropping to 485 items last year.

"It's so easy for people to do," Chivers said.

She said that locations inside businesses that might not get a lot of outside traffic, such as Lakeshirts tend to provide a lot of items.

Part of that is that the employees get together and help make the tree in their location a success.

The drive goes until Thursday, Dec. 17 when the items will be collected.

Damien Mitten Trees are located at Wells Fargo Bank, First Security Bank, Bremer Bank, Midwest Bank, American National Bank, State Bank & Trust, Central Market, Detroit Lakes Newspapers, St Mary's Living Community, Lakeshirts, SpeakEasy and the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center.