A Colorado couple renewed its goal of giving back to the community as the Giving Fence reopened to provide clothing to families in need. Families who lack gloves, scarves and hats can come to the fence, owned by Robert and Tonja Himschoot of Fountain.
“We wanted to do something to give back to the community,” Tonja Himschoot told KOAA.
The Himschoots moved to Fountain from Salida a few months ago. Six years ago, the last of their five children left for college, leaving a surplus of clothing.
“Well, yeah when they moved out we had that left over,” Tonja Himschoot said.
So the Himschoots constructed a fence, hanging the spare clothing on the slats and inviting all to take what they needed for free, KOAA reported.
“We had promised to provide items from the first snowflake to the last,” Himschoot said.
The family shops all year to stock the fence through the holidays.
"When we start the year, we count the items that we have on hand, last year it was a thousand,” Himschoot said.
That doesn’t count items people have dropped off or put on the fence, KOAA reported.
“It's a give and take. It's turned into something bigger than we thought,” Himschoot said. “You leave some days, and it's empty and then come back. and it's full.
“My husband calls it our rainbow. It changes shape and size, it comes and goes. We love it and I think it will be something just he and I will do now so our kids can watch. They are spread across the states, they keep up with us that way.”