Giving Fence diffuses heat in Bloomington

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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) – The retrofit Culture side fence on the west side of Bloomington is more than just a fence.

“I think we just thought if we invited people to put their extra stuff on the fence so that other people could take it and use it if they needed it,” said Tahnee Lathrop, co-owner of Retrofit Culture.

This is called the “Giving Fence,” a fence where people can donate winter items or take what they need.

“It kind of became a thing,” Lathrop said.

Every November and December it is covered in coats and winter gear.

Lathrop and her husband own the store and have been running the Giving Fence for five seasons. When they started, there were around 300 coats in total. Now, she says, there are over a thousand winter items that go out with families in need every year.

“I think people like it, they can give anonymously and they can take anonymously,” Lathrop said.

That’s what Lathrop wanted it to be. No info to give and no price tag, just grab what you need. However, she said it wouldn’t be what it is without people in the community who donate, like Bloomington resident Gabriela Andrade.

“We have to help people, you know how to help each other, because we never know when in the future we will need help,” said Andrade.

Andrade said she lived minutes from the store and had donated coats this year and before.

She and Lathrop say they want to make an impact in their community by giving back.

“There is definitely a need on the west side of Bloomington,” Lathrop said.

Lathrop said they will collect winter equipment until December 20.

“We want to make sure people have everything they need to stay warm before the really, really cold part of winter hits,” said Lathrop.

To donate or collect items, visit Retrofit Culture at 1014 W Washington St in Bloomington.


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