14th annual St. Leo's coat drive underway in GI

Published: Oct. 6, 2017 at 3:29 PM CDT
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This week's wet rainy weather is a reminder that winter is not far away.

In order to make sure that everyone has something warm to wear this winter, St. Leo's parish in Grand Island is underway with it's 14th annual winter coat drive.

The Human Concerns Committee at St. Leo's Parish and Continuum of Care service agencies are collecting new and gently used coats, hats, gloves and boots of all sizes. The coats will be distributed free of charge to people in need on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.

Donna Douglass, Outreach Coordinator at St. Leo's Parish, said the event has been a great success over the past 13 years. Last year, 1,827 coats were collected and 1,632 were distributed.

"We are blessed to have such a giving community," Douglass said. "Their generosity is what makes this event possible."

Douglass said she is excited that Raising Canes will be participating in the coat drive again this year and serving as a drop site. In addition, Raising Canes will generously be offering coupons to those who donate coats.

New or gently used coats, hats, gloves and mittens can be dropped off at the following sites: Raising Canes, all U-Save Pharmacy locations, both Super Saver stores, HyVee, the YMCA, the YWCA, HERZ Fitness Studio, GIPS Outreach Center and St. Leo's Church.

The past 13 years have shown a great need for children's coats of all sizes, and especially XXL and larger adult coats.

Liz Mayfield, Executive Director of Hope Harbor Homeless Shelter, said that the coat give-away is helpful to their residents. "Every year we are grateful for St. Leo's Community Coat Drive. Without it, many of Hope Harbor's residents would be without proper winter gear. The coat drive is well organized and a huge resource for those in need in our community."

Distribution will be from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, at St. Leo's Church, located at 2410 S. Blaine Street, Grand Island. Coats left over will be donated to the Seventh Day Adventist Church for its free monthly clothing give-away the last Sunday of each month.

During the same time, Project Homeless Connect will be at the Evangelical Free Church just down the street. Project Homeless Connect offers services from Social services to dental care to haircuts for people who are or at risk of becoming homeless. Also, The Church of Christ on Stolley Park Road will be giving away clothing as they do every Thursday.