By Sue Pascoe
Donate a coat” flyers went up around town in early November, and members of Girl Scout Troop 565 asked people, “Have you ever felt cold?” The fourth graders explained that nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty and a coat is something they cannot afford.
Troop leader Kristin Sibson said the girls made the flyers, typed up a press release and asked for permission to place collection bins in various locations. They also made announcements at schools and at churches.
The Girl Scouts asked for donations of clean, gently worn coats of all types and sizes. They collected coats at Palisades Elementary, Marquez Elementary, Fire Station 69, Corpus Christi School and the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.
“Our drive was a HUGE success!” Sibson said. The scouts collected 351 coats for One Warm Coat, a national nonprofit that works to provide a warm coat to persons in need. All the donated coats went to the Union Rescue Mission.
Troop members were asked why they chose this particular community service project. “We chose to collect coats over food or toys because it is unlikely people would give away food because they purchased it so they will have something they like to eat,” Hailey Sugarman said. “They will probably have more coats they are able to give away than food. Even though it would have put a smile on their face to give them toys, it will be less needed on a cold stormy night than a jacket to keep you warm.”
“When people are warm they feel safe and cozy,” Cate Deiter said. “This is the way I wanted to make people feel.”
“We helped a lot of people because we gathered all different types of coats: some were for really cold weather, some were for rain and some were really fashionable. There were lots of coats for kids too,” Sky Shannon said. “I hope all these coats can help people be warm and cozy this winter!”
Isabelle Kocher told the News,“My neighbor Kathy gave us a leather coat that been owned by her father, but she felt good that it would go to a good cause.”
“My favorite one was the neon yellow size 4T jacket that said LOVE,” Caroline Quigley said. “I really enjoyed collecting coats because we helped to collect a lot of coats for people who really need them.”
Since its inception in 1992, One Warm Coat has worked with its volunteers to give away more than four million coats. Visit onewarmcoat.org for more information.