We are approaching our 11th annual hat/glove drive.  The question is often posed, “How did this begin?”  It all began on a brutally cold day in February of 2009, I was driving East by the Indianola high school and middle school.  I recall I was headed to a court hearing in Marion County.  I saw 3-5 middle school students crossing the street at the stoplight to walk to the high school.  Only one of the students was wearing a hat.  I was bothered by this, but I had to get to Knoxville for the court hearing.   

My hearing was done in about an hour.  As I was driving back to Indianola, it was still bothering me that some kids did not have hats/gloves.  I stopped by the middle school and talked to the lady at the desk about my concerns.  She informed me that there was a strong need for hats/gloves.   

Rather than go back to the office, I headed to Wal-Mart.  There, I purchased 30 hats and 30 pairs of gloves.  I took them back to the middle school and asked them to distribute them, as needed.   

The following year, we were planning our open house where we invite clients, friends, and family members to enjoy some good food and drinks and to show our appreciation.  In 2010, I came up with the idea to combine the hat/glove drive with our open house.  We wrapped a large box with Christmas paper and began taking donations.   

The first year, we had enough to donate again to the Indianola Middle School.  From there, the event has grown.  With the help of our community, we are now able to collect enough donations to distribute to all schools in Warren County.   

Approximately 6 years ago, a good friend, Janine Jensen began catering our event.  Her food was beyond delicious and her service was out of this world.  Last year, Janine passed away.  This led to the further evolution of our hat/glove drive.  We decided to begin holding the event in her honor.  In 2020, we set a goal to collect 750 items.  We far exceeded that goal, collecting 1,114 items.  Upon reaching this goal, we donated $1,500.00 to the American Cancer Society.   

As this year’s hat and glove drive nears, we have high hopes in crushing our 2020 goal.  To help do this, we have pledged to donate $1 per item we receive during the duration of the drive to the American Cancer Society.  

We feel extremely blessed to work in and/or live in such a great community. We couldn’t do this without the support you have shown us through the years. 


Event details:  

The Hat and Glove Drive began on November 15th and will continue until December 16th. 

Our Open House will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on December 16th  


Ryan Ellis