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Monday, January 17, 2022

Tiny’s Tunes continues free coat rack tradition

Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–As winter settles in in earnest in Muscatine County, people of all ages need warm outerwear to keep themselves safe and comfortable throughout the season. For those struggling to make ends meet, affording coats, hats, mittens, and other gear can prove challenging. This winter, as in year’s past, Tiny’s Tunes will continue its tradition of offering a free take a coat, leave a coat rack outside its downtown Muscatine store located on Second Street.

In 2019, concerned that people would not have proper outerwear during the polar vortex, Laura Darting collected some gently used coats and put them on a rack in front of her photography studio. It proved quite successful, with people both taking coats when they needed them and dropping off good quality used ones. Pleased, she continued doing a coat drive and putting out the rack each winter. Inspired by his friend’s success, David “Tiny” Botello started putting out a coat rack of his own and has continued the tradition for the past several years.

Traditionally, January and February bring some of the coldest weather of the year. To help everyone in Muscatine stay warm this winter, Tiny’s Tunes needs more donations of coats to share. Residents may donate coats of any size, from the smallest infant coats to the largest adult options, by simply placing them on the rack outside of the store. To help even further, people may donate new or lightly used hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, earmuffs, and other similar winter wear by hanging them on the coat rack as well (i. e. placing it in a bag and putting the bag on a hanger so that it does not blow away). To keep the focus on providing winter outerwear, the coat rack does not accept donations of regular every-day clothing.

Because winter weather can prove unpredictable, Botello makes a point of having the coat rack available as much as possible during cold weather. He typically puts it out in November and keeps it out until temperatures consistently stay above freezing in the spring. Any time before he puts the coat rack away for the season, he encourages you to come down and make a donation if you have winterwear that no longer fits or that you do not need. He also stresses that anyone in need of winter clothing may come down to Tiny’s Tunes and take what they need from the rack. If you have any questions about making a donation, you may contact Tiny’s Tunes by sending them a Facebook message.

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