Bubba's Closet is now accepting donations of winter clothing

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincolnites are proud to live in a city with a great sense of community. There's always someone lending a helping hand in a time of need.

Bubba's Closet ensures kids will stay warm during the winter (SOURCE: Kamri Sylve/KOLN).

According to Lincoln Vital Signs, more than 15 percent of people in Lincoln are living at or below the poverty rate. This means a significant amount of people may not have warm coats this winter.

Whether we like it or not, cold weather is coming. It's that time of the year when you can donate new and gently-used winter wear to Bubba's Closet.

Bubba's Closet is a clothing give-away effort. For more than 20 years, it's helped elementary school students who need warm clothing. LPS elementary principals coordinate to put on the event. Bubba's Closet is made possible through donations from the community. Bubba's Closet donations focus on winter coats, but this year, principals are hoping to receive other winter items like sweaters, sweatshirts, hats and gloves.

Hartley Elementary School principal Jeff Rust tells 10/11, "We have kids and families that are working hard, and this provides them an opportunity to get a coat where they can use their money and their resources in other places."

For some, a brand-new winter coat is more than just a coat. It can give a child more self-confidence and increase their school attendance.

LPS officials say when a child has the right type of clothing to wear to school, they tend to concentrate more on their studies. The goal of Bubba's Closet is to lessen the worry of families who can't always provide for their kids, especially during colder months. LPS principals don't know why "Bubba's Closet" is named what it is but say the reason behind it definitely holds significance.

Pyrtle Elementary School principal Kristen Finley says, "What we like to think about is Bubba is in all of us. We all want to give. We all want to give back to our community."

While they also need donations, this year, LPS principals were able to purchase about 430 new winter coats for kids. It's thanks to a grant the LPS district was given through Walmart. Now, every child that comes through the doors at Bubba's Closet will walk away with a brand-new coat.

Hartley Elementary School principal Jeff Rust, "No matter what time of year it is, there's always community members willing to give back and provide for some of our greatest needs for our kids."

LPS principals believe events like Bubba's Closet help bring awareness to the needs of those in our public schools. Bubba's Closet shows the support of our community in meeting those needs.

Principal Rust tells 10/11 he feels like Bubba's Closet shows just one way the community here in Lincoln comes together. It's through community partnerships with businesses like Walmart and Hangers Cleaners that make Bubba's Closet even possible.

The event is happening at McPhee Elementary School on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 8-9:30 a.m. Donations are being accepted at all Hangers Cleaners locations now through October 26, 2019. Bubba's Closet is accepting both kids and adult sizes.