’Giving Fence’ makes sure East Bluff neighbors aren’t left out in the cold

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:09 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - A neighborhood community center is making sure people stay comfortable with warm winter coats.

The ‘Giving Fence’ outside the East Bluff Community Center (EBCC) is making sure no one is unprepared in the cold.

“It’s sort of a give and take. If you’ve got something come share it with the community. If you need something come get it,” said EBCC Executive Director Kari Jones.

That’s the goal for the giving fence along Nebraska Avenue in Peoria’s East Bluff neighborhood.

“It seemed like a no brainer,” said Jones.

Jones says it became obvious there was a need in the community after people came to the Saturday food pantry asking for coats. She says they saw the idea done in Bloomington and decided to make it their solution here.

“People will say, ‘Oh my gosh I really need this for my kid, I really needed this for myself so that’s great,’” said Jones.

Since December, Jones says about 150 items have been donated. That includes, hats, coats, gloves and scarves.

“Forest Hill United Methodist Church, the Peoria Public Libraries, they did really big drives and so we’ve been filling it up with those as things get taken,” said Jones.

If someone is in need, but the fence is empty, Jones says to go inside the community center and they’ll assist.

“We don’t want anyone spending the winter cold when there are plenty of resources out there. Come take advantage of what there is,” said Jones.

They plan to keep the fence up as long as it remains cold.