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Rochester community member holds coat drive for Afghan evacuees

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ROCHESTER, Minn.-It's no secret Minnesota can be frigid. Winter might not be here yet but jackets will soon be needed as we start to feel temperatures drop.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the clothing to keep out the winter chill. According to Rochester community member Brittany Kressin, Afghan evacuees are some of those people needing a helping hand after giving back themselves.

"They did so much to help our soldiers. Alot of these people served our soldiers overseas and so I'm thankful to them for that," says Kressin.

On Saturday, the mother of two held a coat drive at Calvary Evangelical Free Church to benefit the evacuees. She says it's what she saw on the way to a vet appointment in Minneapolis recently that caught her attention.

"There was a family there on the corner huddled in blankets that were cold and I rolled down the windows and asked are you Afghan and they said yes we are. The mom asked do you have any warm clothes and I said I'm sorry I don't."

Kressin tried looking for them but couldn't find them.

"And so I said well if I can't help that family that I'll do everything I can to help others that are facing the same thing."

Donors including Sue Hommerding and Brian Laing came out to show their support.

"A good friend of mine, her daughter-in-law is an immigration lawyer and she's actually defending an Afghan individual who helped us and I just feel we should be doing much more as a country," says Hommerding.

People of all different ages wanted to help including 10-year-old Kaleigh Steward who donated some of her jackets.

"I went to donate them and to help them and that's why I'm here to do this," explains Steward.

All new items will be taken to Fort McCoy, an army installation near Sparta, Wisconsin. All used items will be taken to a Salvation Army location near there, in an effort to ensure other Afghan evacuees stay warm this winter.

Anyone who couldn't make it to the coat drive can donate by clicking on this Amazon wishlist.

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