Need for winter coats expected to be high this season

Published on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 by Brandy Kiger Shreve

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Over the past week, the weather has taken a sharp turn toward chilly, and while winter may not be here quite yet, all signs are pointing to it being well on its way.

While the rainy days may make you want to turn up the heat in your home or snuggle up in your favorite jacket, there are many families in Blaine who are in danger of facing the drizzly, cold winter months without the proper attire to keep them warm.

Blaine’s Community Assistance Program (CAP) has partnered with the Interfaith Coalition to try and address that problem.

The annual Winter Coat Drive has begun, and churches countywide are asking congregants to bring gently worn coats to Sunday services during the month of September. Those collected coats will then be donated to the program on Sunday, September 29. 

CAP distributed more than 300 coats in 2012 and it was a record-breaking year for the program.

“There’s a huge need,” said program coordinator Jeane Austin. “This year, we’ve already served 30 percent more than last year. We need coats for both kids and adults.” 

Austin said the biggest need they have is for the largest sizes. “I always run out,” she said. “The more Xs it has the better.” The organization is accepting gently used coats sized from infant to 5X this season.

Distribution will once again take place in the mobile unit located next to St. Martin’s Clothing Bank at the Blaine Food Bank at 500 C Street.

“We won’t know what we’re getting from the churches around the county until Sunday, September 29,” Austin said. “But we know we’re going to need a lot for both kids and adults.”

Donations will be also be accepted Monday, September 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at Christ Episcopal Church located at Fourth and Boblett streets. They request that donors use the Fourth Street entrance for drop off. 

Austin said it’s important to donate your gently worn apparel at the designated locations, because St. Martin’s Clothing Bank does not have sufficient room to store the coats in their building. “We’re just too small,” she said. “We don’t have any storage space.”

Donations of sweaters, mittens, gloves and warm hats are also appreciated.

Coats will be distributed to the community on Tuesday, October 1 and Friday, October 4 from 9 a.m. to noon, and on Wednesday, October 2 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Blaine Food Bank. To be eligible to receive coats, families must be registered with the Blaine Food Bank. 

For more information call Austin at 398-1226.