Winter already?Time for our annual “Warm Up”!

by Doug Brendel

That lovely chill in the air? That’s our beloved New England winter, whispering “Here I come!”

As temps start sledding downhill each autumn, Ipswich’s Ascension Memorial Episcopal Church takes steps to make sure no one in the community lacks warm clothing.

So for the 16th year (with only 2020 off due to the pandemic), Ascension will host a “Winter Warm Up” sale.

Ipswich-area residents are invited to donate new or gently used winter clothing — warm coats, jackets, sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens and gloves, socks, snow pants, snow boots, slacks, etc. 

Church volunteers will sort the clothing by type, style, and size, then arrange a pop-up department-store-style market in the church’s Boone Hall gymnasium. There, the goods will be offered at extremely low prices. (There will even be fitting rooms, complete with mirrors.)

“This is never a fundraiser for the church,” says Ralph Johnson, chair of the church’s outreach committee, which organizes the event. “The idea is to make sure people can stay warm, regardless of income level. Whatever money we collect will actually go to Ipswich Caring and Birth to Three.”

What types of clothing donations are needed most?

“We always hope to receive winter coats for all ages, and outdoor clothes for school-age children,” Ralph says.

To participate, make your clothing contributions (winter clothes only, no summer gear, and nothing torn or dirty) in either of two ways: 

(1)  Drop clothing between 9 a.m. and noon at the Ascension Church gym, 31 County St., Ipswich, on Saturday, October 15th, or Saturday, October 22nd.

(2)  Deposit clothing in designated collection bins at Ipswich Town Hall, 25 Green St., Ipswich (located upstairs at the gym and downstairs at the Council on Aging) beginning October 1st, anytime Town Hall is open.

After this perennially pleasant event, unclaimed clothing will go to groups like Second Glance in Gloucester, St. Paul’s thrift shop in Boston, the Salvation Army, veterans’ groups, hospitals, and others. So you can be confident that any winter-clothing contribution you make to this project will go to someone in need.

The sale itself will occur at the church gym from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both Saturday, October 29th, and Sunday, October 30th.

On those days, feel free to pick up Winter Warm Up clothing not only for yourself but for the benefit of others you might share warm clothing with. 

Questions about the Winter Warm Up Sale? Contact parish communications administrator Bob Morelli at (978) 356-2560 or

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