Outdoor coat rack becomes central to holiday giving - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Outdoor coat rack becomes central to holiday giving


Coat racks tend to stay indoors, but not this one.

"Everybody looks at it, partially due to the bright color, but partially because it always has items on it," said Erin Webber-Dreeszen of Sioux City.

The community coat rack was designed by downtown sculptor Ken Peterson.

"When it was purchased, I replaced it with this piece with the idea that I would put some gloves on it, some hats on it," said Peterson.

For four years, Peterson's sculpture has been right outside of the Little Chicago Deli.

"Put something there, who knows who takes it. You don't get a tax credit, you're just getting rid of something you don't want that someone else can use," said Peterson.

At times, the rack is completely full, but within 24 hours its contents could be completely different.

"By and large the items that appear on the rack are gone the next day," said Peterson.

And the passion to re-fill is growing, especially now with the chill in the air.

"When I clean out my closet, when I find extra things in the cupboard that I don't need or shoes at the back door that don't fit any more, I put them in my trunk and I drive here and put them near or on the rack," said Susan Peete of Sioux City.

One day Peete ran into a family while she was loading clothes onto the rack, and she explained to them that they could take whatever they wanted or needed.

"So, they started taking things off and holding it up and trying it on and that's the good feeling, I like from doing this," said Peete.

Webber-Dreeszen remembers driving by the rack for years, and wanting to donate. It was her eight year old daughter that finally convinced her to give.

"She gathered everything that we weren't using and said, you know, if someone can use it downtown, somebody might be cold, so they need to have my coat," said Webber-Dreeszen.

Now, she says it might be a regular habit.

"If my coat can go to one person who's cold, who needs to have a little bit extra comfort, then it's totally worth it for me," said Webber-Dreeszen.

A feeling that she hopes she'll continue to get by giving.

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