Postville Public Library and Postville Community Schools team up to provide winter clothing for those in need

Crystal Duffy is coordinating the winter clothing giveaway at the Postville Public Library. Photo by Sharon Drahn
Sharon Drahn
Mid-America Publishing

With a hard freeze, and even a few snow flurries, having occurred in Northeast Iowa within the last two weeks, it is time to bring out the winter gear. It is time for winter clothing, parkas, snow pants, caps, mittens and boots to be pulled from the back of closets. However, for some of our newer residents who have immigrated from warm climates, winter gear is not among their possessions. Many local residents as well may have found that last year’s clothing and coats no longer fit their children.

As preparing for winter can be a challenge for many families, the Postville Community School District and the Postville Public Library have joined forces to bring free winter clothing and outerwear to those in need.

When asked how the program began, Postville Librarian Crystal Duffy said, “I am a member of the vocal group the Decorah Chorale and, before each rehearsal, we have a time of sharing. I told the group about the new residents we have in Postville and asked them to donate to the Postville Food Pantry. I explained that cash and many staples are always needed.”

She added, “That request, which was well received, led to another member asking if Postville could use winter clothes for those in need. Rachel Sandhorst, who also sings with the chorale and is a counselor at Postville Community Schools, assured the donor that there was a great need.”

With a very generous donation from “The Getup” in Decorah, community members and partners all over Northeast Iowa, including many items from Postvillians, winter clothing has been made available for children from infants through adults.

Winter clothing is available for school age children (ages 4 to 18) at the school by appointment only by calling the school counselor at 563-864-7651. 

Infants, toddlers and adult clothing is available at the library Thursday and Friday afternoons only from 2 to 5 p.m. Crystal said, “After our first distribution last week, the majority of our items went to those in need. Winter outerwear is currently our biggest need as the jackets, snow pants, hats, snowsuits, scarves and mittens are pretty much gone.”

Items may be dropped off at the Postville Public Library, 235 West Tilden, during regular library hours or at the school by appointment though the month of November. All clothing and outerwear should be clean and in good repair. Crystal said, “For the convenience of our donors, we will accept all sizes at the library and, after sorting, will take the school age sizes to the school. We are also accepting hangers and clothes racks on wheels (to borrow.)”

Duffy noted that the items are available to all in need regardless of their ethnicity as their have been ads on Facebook in English, Spanish, Somali, Hebrew and Ukrainian.  She added, “We have  placed signs around town in each of the languages as well.”

Anyone having questions about the program, wishing to donate or in need of clothing for their family should contact Duffy at the Postville Public Library by calling 563-864-7600 or Counselor Rachel Sandhorst at Postville Community Schools at 563-864-7651.


The Postville Herald

The Postville Herald
335 N. Lawler
Postville, IA 52162
Ph. (563) 864-3333
Fax 1-800-340-0805

Mid-America Publishing

This newspaper is part of the Mid-America Publishing Family. Please visit for more information.