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La Clinica warms the Gorge with winter clothing drive

January 14

La Clinica del Cariño treats colds and helps fight the cold weather.

One sweater, or stocking cap, at a time.

“Warm up the Gorge” clothing drive — Calentando El Gorge — started last week and will continue for one more week, as a way to help the clinic’s clients deal with frigid weather.

“I wish I had started this sooner,” said Dr. Connie Serra, a family practice physician at LaClinica. “I think a lot of people had this same idea, I just took a couple of steps to help it happen.”

“It’s going just great,” said Daniel Ward, La Clinica director. Donations can be made at LaClinica offices in Hood River or in The Dalles (see details below).

Anyone in need of clothing can take items, at no charge, from shelves in the entry way of the clinic. They disappear almost as soon as they are put out, Ward said. New coats and other high-quality items have made their way onto the shelves.

“It’s really a good thing. It’s very cold,” said Annamarie Alamo of Parkdale, who selected some sweatshirts for herself, her child, and her husband. The family arrived from Mexico three years ago and are still adjusting to winters in Hood River County.

The last two weeks’ harsh weather have been tough on many clients of La Clinica, Serra said.

“I see patients who have just arrived from Mexico, and some of them have never experienced cold like we’ve had. They are way under-dressed. We see it all day long,” she said. “The people who are in need of (warm clothes) are generally the same people we treat here at LaClinica. I thought, ‘How can we help?’”

She started with her own closet, cleaning out good items that her son, Lucas, 4, had outgrown. She then sent out e-mails to everyone who works at LaClinica asking them to donate. They brought in bagloads, and so did some of their friends.

“Clients have also donated items,” Serra said.

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From now until Friday, anyone can bring clean, gently-used, winter coats, sweaters, gloves, mittens, hats and scarves to the lobby of La Clinica in Hood River, at 849 Pacific Ave. (a block east of Rosauers) or La Clinica in The Dalles, at 425 E. 7th (next door to the Wasco-Sherman Health Department). Child-sized warm things are especially needed.

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