Tourism Industry Helps Wisconsin “Bundle Up” This Winter with Annual Charity Drive

LA CROSSE, Wis. Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett kicked-off this year’s Big Bundle Up charity drive with a stop at the La Crosse Area Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center. Now in its eighth year, the statewide charity initiative encourages people to donate new or gently used gloves, hats, scarves, coats and other warm winter gear for those in need. Since 2011, Wisconsin residents, travelers and businesses have contributed nearly 135,000 winter items, which have been donated to charities across the state.

“Thanks to the kindness of local organizations who serve as collection sites and the generosity of individuals and businesses that donate, this program continues to be a tremendous success,” Governor Walker said. “We can’t thank the tourism industry members enough for their participation as well as the people of Wisconsin for donating to this great cause.”

La Crosse joins other Travel Wisconsin Welcome Centers, tourist information centers, chambers of commerce, visitor bureaus and businesses across the state in serving as Big Bundle Up drop-off sites from November 15 – January 2, 2019. Donations are distributed to local charities in each community. A complete list of locations is available online.

“The Big Bundle Up brings together the entire tourism industry for a common cause – to spread the warmth across the state year after year,” said Klett. “For the tourism industry, it’s about serving the community with the same care they give our travelers.”

Klett was joined by Explore La Crosse Executive Director A.J. Frels to drop off a donation from Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Knitwear. The company has donated 1,000 hats to this year’s Big Bundle Up campaign and 500 hats will go to the Family & Children's Center in La Crosse. The last six years, Wisconsin Knitwear has provided a total of 10,400 knit hats to the Big Bundle Up.

“Explore La Crosse is pleased to be part of this holiday drive to bundle up those in need,” said Frels. “Wisconsin is a great state and we wish for all residents to be warm this winter.”

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun. Tourism in the state plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. Traveler information can be found at