Oil Companies Help Ensure Families Stay Warm This Winter

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As anyone around here knows, it can get cold very quickly. And that means it's just about time to take out the winter clothing.

Companies in the oil industry are pitching in to make sure people without big paychecks can dress warmly.

They began collecting almost a month ago, and the results are astounding.

"There was over 100 coats, couple bags of shoes, a ton amount of scarves, and gloves and hats," said Tiffany Steiner, MBI Energy Services.

The first Spread the Warmth: Winter Clothing Drive has brought in bags of clothing items to just one of the drop off sites, and it's pretty simple.

"You go through your closets, get rid of the stuff you don't need," Steiner said.

The drive is one of three the North Dakota Petroleum Council organizes to help those in need. Eighteen oil industry companies participated.

"We started collecting a little bit over a month ago, we had about 84 items donated a wide variety of gloves, hats," said Casey King, Light Tower Rentals.

The drive involves some friendly competition, as the company who gathers the most items receives $1,000 to give to a charity of its choice. But what you feel by helping others is a reward in itself.

"I would love to just be a fly on the wall, and watch their reactions just to see, 'cause some of the clothing is even new so that's just fantastic," said Amanda Stowers, MBI Energy Services.

SAX Motor Company is a drop-off location that has fun with the drive, and it has to do with where the donations are placed.

"A pick-up in the showroom, and all the items are dropped off right on the showroom floor," said Randy Kinzel, sales consultant at SAX Motor Company.

And a local dry-cleaning service is helping with the cause.

Paradise Dry Cleaning in Dickinson is taking care of donations for no cost. The drive's service coordinator says helping the community in some way is always a priority, no matter the circumstances.

"With oil prices a little bit lower, they don't quite have as many monetary resources as they used to to help give back, and so this is a way that we can kind of volunteer," said Tessa Sandstrom, communications manager at the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

The company with the most items donated will be determined Friday.​

The North Dakota Petroleum Council says it hopes to make this an annual event.