Hopefully the thought of children shivering in the winter cold is enough to warm the hearts of local donors willing to give gently used coats to the city’s needy.
The Center for Family Services needs the public’s help in keeping local adults and children warm this winter, having already seen some recent requests go unsatisfied due to short supply of certain items, especially children’s snow gear.
“Winter is around the corner and it is already too chilly for local children to head to the bus stop without a coat in the morning. Unfortunately, there are many who are doing just that,” said Shawnel Lee of the Center for Family Services. “The center provides free winter coats to adults and children every year. However, this year, there aren’t very many coats to give out.
“Right now, we have limited sizes for adults and less than a half dozen coats for children,” Lee said. “We are telling parents to check back with us, but there is no guarantee that we can provide their child with a winter coat this year.”
The agency relies on community donations of gently used or new coats to meet the needs of hundreds of people in Crawford County. Partnering with businesses like Northwest Savings Bank’s “Operation Overcoat” and Forever Broadcasting’s “WUZZ Warmth” helps promote donations. Numbers for the Northwest Savings collection were not available Monday, as those coats are being cleaned and have not yet been delivered.
The Center is hoping to collect 300 to 400 more coats as soon as possible, with no donation deadline. Any surplus is saved for next year’s requests, which usually come in as early as the first snow.
All sizes of winter coats are needed, both adult and children’s sizes. Donations can be dropped off at the Center for Family Services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 213 Center St. in Meadville. Those donating should let the agency staff know the donation is for the Free Coat Program. Snowpants and boots are also needed.
n More information about the Center for Family Services and its programs: Call (814) 337-8450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The center is a United Way partner agency and a HUD-approved Housing Counseling agency.
YOU CAN HELP
All sizes of winter coats are needed for local distribution, both adult and children’s sizes, for needy families in the Meadville area. Donations can be dropped off at the Center for Family Services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 213 Center St. in Meadville. Let the agency staff know your donation is for the Free Coat Program. Snowpants and boots are also needed.