Crossing guard passes out mittens - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Crossing guard passes out mittens

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Crossing guards near elementary schools already have a pretty important job, but one crossing guard near Ben Franklin Elementary in Rochester is taking his responsibility a little further by making sure kids stay safe -- and warm.

Howard Hunt has been manning the corner of 16th St. SE and 8th Ave. SE for the past 14 years. During that time, he noticed when it got cold, not every kid had hats and mittens during the walk to school.

That's when Hunt started to bring his own hats, gloves, mittens and scarves to his two daily shifts as a crossing guard, and passing them out to kids with freezing hands or ears.

Hunt said it's not so much that parents can't afford hats or mittens, but rather that elementary kids are forgetful and often just leave them at home.

He says he passes most of them out in the mornings, when it's coldest and kids have a whole day of school and recess to get through.

Hunt said most of his hats and mittens do get returned by kids who just needed them for a day, but to keep his stock full, he buys them himself. However, he has gotten denotations from friendly Dollar Store customers or bus drivers.

Hunt said he does keep mismatched pairs of gloves on hand as well, but they aren't as popular with the kids unless it's really cold, and there aren't many other choices.

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