Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Phone: 608-266-0458

Lisa Marshall, Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Phone: 608-267-3773

Media Room:




More than 70 tourism partners helped warm up Wisconsinites in need this winter


MADISON, Wis. (Jan. 13, 2015) — With recent sub-zero temperatures sweeping the state, Wisconsinites can “bundle up” this winter thanks to the thousands of donations made by Wisconsin residents, travelers and businesses through the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s “Big Bundle Up” campaign. A grand total of 16,948 winter clothing items, including hats, scarves, snow pants, coats and mittens, were donated to charities throughout Wisconsin. This was the fourth year of the campaign. Since 2011, the campaign has totaled more than 49,300 items collected.

“Each year we are extremely proud of the generosity that continues to be shown across Wisconsin by residents, travelers and industry leaders in order to give warm clothing to those in need,” Governor Scott Walker said. “For a fourth year, this campaign has successfully brought communities together to positively impact the well-being of state residents, and we thank everyone who supported and took part in this effort.”

The campaign, which stemmed from the 2012 “Great Lakes Mitten Campaign,” wrapped up Jan. 2 and invited the public to donate new and gently used winter items to Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers, participating chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus and local businesses. Tourism partners then donated the collected items to local and community charitable organizations and shelters. 

“We are so proud to see the dedication and enthusiasm of our tourism partners in making this a tremendous success for the fourth year running,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “It’s gratifying to know that so many charities across Wisconsin are receiving extra donations to help keep residents warm as a result of this campaign.”

Many heartwarming stories came from this year’s collection. At the Marinette Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center, more than one family in need was able to take warm clothes right from donations made to the center that included jackets, hats and mittens. Lake Mills Cleaners graciously cleaned donated items from the Greater Madison Conventions and Visitors Bureau for no charge. The Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce received a brand new coat from someone who bought it and decided to donate it instead of keep it.  Brand new blankets made their way to the Department of Tourism where they will be provided to homeless shelters and warming stations. And numerous handmade hats and mittens were given to the campaign by local knitting groups and generous individuals who contribute year after year. 

Two private businesses stepped up to help out, as well. Ross Sports, a Minnesota company and the maker of the ZooZatz hats, graciously donated 3,500 hats that went to local charities in the Menomonie and Chippewa Valley region. Wisconsin Knitwear, a Milwaukee-based company, generously donated for a third year in a row, providing 1,200 hats that went to an urgent public request from Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

The initiative won a 2013 “Best of Show” Paragon Award from the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of Public Relations Society of America.

 The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun. By executing industry-leading marketing programs, the Department plays a significant role in delivering exceptional customer service and generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: