Dou­ble the drop-off lo­ca­tions for SW United Way’s ‘2018 Coats for Kids & Fam­i­lies Col­lec­tion’

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Southern Alberta -

Each year, coats and win­ter wear do­nated to United Way’s Coats for Kids & Fam­i­lies pro­gram help hun­dreds of peo­ple to be pre­pared for the cold. This year, United Way is hop­ing to in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple helped, by up­ping the num­ber of places to do­nate.

The 2018 Coats for Kids & Fam­i­lies col­lec­tion will run from now un­til Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 19. In ad­di­tion to the United Way of­fice and the three Leth­bridge TD Canada Trust branches, Leth­bridge ATB Fi­nan­cial branches will also be host­ing drop-off boxes.

Pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor Connolly TateMitchell says it’s im­por­tant to stay ahead of Mother Na­ture.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant that we start this col­lec­tion early so that we can help peo­ple be pre­pared. Ev­ery year, right af­ter the first snow­fall, the phone calls and emails from our part­ner agen­cies start. They want to know if we have cer­tain sizes for the fam­i­lies they’re serv­ing. ”

“We are al­ways hop­ing to re­ceive more child and youth sizes,” says Tate-Mitchell. “They’re al­ways in high de­mand be­cause chil­dren out­grow things which need to be re­placed each year.”

Items ac­cepted in the col­lec­tion in­clude new and gen­tly used men’s, women’s, youth and chil­dren’s coats, mit­tens and gloves, scarves, hats and toques and ba­sic hood­ies.

“Some­times there are items do­nated that are a lit­tle too well-loved that we have to say good­bye to,” says Tate-Mitchell. “We’re ask­ing for items that are clean, in good shape, and that have a lot of life left in them. Some­thing as sim­ple as a warm coat, even a used coat, shows that we are a com­mu­nity where peo­ple re­ally care for one an­other.”

Tate-Mitchell also re­minds peo­ple to check coat pock­ets be­fore do­nat­ing.

“As we’re sort­ing and check­ing do­na­tions, we’ve found spare change, kids’ toys, snacks, gro­cery lists, and even a set of car keys. I’d like to say I found the owner of the keys, but it just wasn’t pos­si­ble.”

Do­nated items have been con­nected with new own­ers with the help of lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions like Wood’s Homes, the John Howard So­ci­ety, SASHA Sup­port­ive Liv­ing, and also through the city’s Project Con­nect event.

Do­na­tions can be brought to the United Way of­fice, Leth­bridge TD Canada Trust branches or Leth­bridge ATB Fi­nan­cial branches. United Way is able to pro­vide gift-in-kind tax re­ceipts for new items with proof of pur­chase. For info, con­tact United Way at 403-327-1700 or email to­gether@ leth­bridge­u­nit­ed­

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