By Martin, Tijana on September 21, 2017.
The mornings are colder, the leaves have started to change colour and fall is just a day away.
Soon residents will be reaching into their closets in search of something warm to wear – but not everyone. That’s why the United Way is hoping to get a kick start on their annual winter coat drive.
The Coats for Kids and Families Collection launched earlier this week and residents are encouraged to donate new or gently used winter wear for vulnerable families and individuals.
“Even though it’s still pretty warm outside, we definitely have to be thinking about the fact that winter will come. So when it does get cold, we don’t want people to be scrambling to find appropriate winter wear,” said Connolly Tate-Mitchell, the program co-ordinator for United Way of Lethbridge and South Western Alberta.
Last year, more than 600 pieces of winter wear were donated and distributed to 10 local organizations in an effort to ensure everyone was prepared for winter. Donations needed include gently used men’s, women’s, youth and children’s coats, mittens and gloves, scarves, hats, toques and hoodies.
This year, Tate-Mitchell is hoping to see more children and youth sizes donated.
“What we get is really random. Sometimes there’s a really large amount of men’s coats, sometimes there’s lots and lots of women’s coats, but there is always a shortage of children and youth sizes.”
“As we know, kids grow fast. They outgrow the things they wore last winter and now they need something new,” said Tate-Mitchell. “Low-income families can’t always afford every year to go out and buy a new snowsuit for their littles, so we want to be prepared to have those things for the people that need them.”
Donations will be accepted until Oct. 20 at the United Way office, KPMG LLP office in Centre Tower, or any of the three local TD Canada Trust branches. Those who provide a proof of purchase for new items will be offered a gift-in-kind tax receipt.
“United Way is going to take care of finding out who needs those things and how to get them to them,” Tate-Mitchell added.
“Even though it’s still almost 30 degrees outside, nobody is really ready for winter, but it can come on fast. We’ve seen snow in just about every month of the year in this city, so it’s definitely important to be prepared sooner rather than later.”
For more information, contact the United Way at 403-327-1700 or email together@lethbridge
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