By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 03, 2018 at 8:24 AM

Milwaukee Public Schools and TCF National Bank (TCF Bank) have been partnering for the third year to collect mittens for children who need them and they've announced that the mitten tree collection period is being extended.

Surely, you've stepped outside over the past couple weeks and you know just how dangerously cold it is out there. Now that school is back in session today after winter break, no one wants any Milwaukee children walking to school or waiting at the bus stop without gloves or mittens.

"According to the 2016 census, 20 percent of Milwaukee County’s nearly one million people are living in poverty, which often means prioritizing other necessities over things like hats and gloves," said Sophia Smith, volunteer services associate at Milwaukee Public Schools. "The Mitten Tree Drive is making a real difference in the lives of students who can’t afford quality winter clothing, and that’s something the entire community can be proud of."

The program began on Nov. 27 and was planned to end this week. But now, gloves and mittens will be collected at the sites listed below through Jan. 19. You can donate homemade or store-bought hats, scarves, gloves and mittens.

In its first year, the program collected donations for more than 4,000 children and it has continued to grow, according to a news release from TCF Bank. This year, let's set a new record, Milwaukee.

"Since 2015, we’ve helped MPS provide thousands of students with the warm winter clothing they need to stay safe and healthy throughout the season, but none of it would be possible without so much help from the community," said Lou Campos, director of retail banking at TCF Bank.

"We’re extending the donation period this year to ensure we’re helping as many kids as possible, and we hope the community will join us in making this year’s donation larger than ever."

Here are the collection sites for this year's MPS Mitten Tree:

MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet St, Milwaukee (7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday)

TCF Bank Branches

  • 12850 W. Bluemound Rd., Elm Grove
  • 4110 N. 76th St.
  • 2100 W. Good Hope Rd., Glendale
  • 7932 N. 76th St.
  • 4375 S. 76th St., Greenfield
  • 8955 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek
  • 110 W. Holt Ave.
  • 4201 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood
  • 307 N. 76th St., Wauwatosa
  • 1441 Miller Park Way, West Milwaukee
Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.