Blaine coat drive gets community help

Published on Wed, Jun 11, 2014
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The Community Assistance Program (CAP) kicked off its annual coat drive last week, and the Blaine and Birch Bay business community has gotten involved in a big way. 

Seven local businesses have agreed to be drop-off points for the coat drive, which will collect winter coats for needy Blaine and Birch Bay families from June 2 until October 12. This is the first time local businesses have agreed to act as drop points for the coat drive, said Jerry Williams, CAP executive director. 

“We’re extremely pleased,” Williams said. “We’ve just been overwhelmed by the response.” 

Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine Visitor Center, Pacific Building Center, Umpqua Bank, Washington Federal Bank, Blaine Senior Center and Blaine-Birch Bay Parks and Recreation District 2 have all offered to act as drop-off points for coats for the drive. Semiahmoo, Pacific Building Center and Blaine Visitor Center can receive coats during business hours seven days a week, while the rest are available during business hours Monday through Friday. 

CAP and the Interfaith Coalition have put on the coat drive for about 10 years. In the past, donations had to be dropped off with one of the local churches. However, many of those churches were closed during regular retail business hours, and the inconvenient hours meant fewer people were able to donate. With help from community businesses and the Blaine Chamber of Commerce, donors can now find a drop point seven days a week. 

Williams said local donations and collection points means families in Blaine and Birch Bay won’t have to travel to Bellingham outlets like Goodwill. He is aiming for 400 new or gently used winter coats by the October 12 deadline. Coats will be distributed October 14, 15 and 17. 

Beginning September 2, the organization’s coat drive trailer will park beside St. Martin’s Clothing Bank at 500 C Street to receive donations. The trailer will only be accepting coats, and any other clothes donations should be taken to St. Martin’s. 

For more information, contact Jerry Williams at 360/739-8184.