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"Big Bundle Up" campaign kicks off third year

MADISON,W (WTAQ) - For the third year in a row, Wisconsin tourism is working to make thousands of needy people a little warmer outside this winter. 

State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett has unveiled the "Big Bundle Up" campaign. Folks can donate new or gently-used hats, scarfs, mittens, and boots.

You might wonder why tourist agencies are involved in this. It's because a large private tourist outfit in Lower Michigan got into a media battle with Wisconsin three years ago, over which place looked more like a mitten. They eventually turned their good-natured badgering into a charitable campaign which started with mitten donations and expanded from there. 

Last year, Wisconsin donated 17,000 winter items to charities in all 72 counties. Klett says tourism is all about customer service, so it's only natural that it be involved in a campaign like this. 

People can donate winter apparel to about 70 locations at state Welcome Centers, tourist information offices, businesses, and other facilities through January 3rd. You'll find a list at Travel Wisconsin.Com.