Although the fairly warm November has made it difficult to think of the need to wear a coat, the time is coming. As the winter months approaching will necessitate us going to the closet and pulling out a warm covering to face the cold. However, there are those who do not have a coat. That is what the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce Coat Closet sets out to prevent — anyone not having a warm coat to battle the cold of winter.
Collections concluded Wednesday and according to coat closet committee members, the effort has been successful.
“We have not collected all the coats from the collection sites yet but it appears we will exceed what we did last year,” expressed an exuberant committee co-chairman, Martin Jackson. “We collected 1,036 coats last year and I feel we will meet and even surpass that number this year.”
This is the third year for the chamber to conduct its coat closet drive in an attempt to serve those families who just do not have the resources to provide a coat to family members.
“It is great to be a part of and live in a community that is so concerned for others. The citizens of Sampson County realizes the needs of others and gives freely to try to meet those needs,” asserted Jackson.
Jackson, who is employed with Star Telephone as a communications consultant, is excited to see so many coats being brought in to the drop off sites. “We have seen boxes at the various sites bursting with coats. We have already sorted through many of those that have been donated getting them ready to distribute to the various site where the coats will be given out,” explained Jackson.
The coats will be distributed through the Partnership for Children, the Department of Social Service, the Crisis Center and the Sampson County Migrant Education Program.
According to Jackson the chamber committee is in the process of sorting through the coats and sizing them and determining which the are for, boy or girl. “Once we get a figure on the number of coats and what sizes we have and compare against the needs we have been given, we will go out and purchase additional coats to fill in where we have shortages,” said Jackson.
The chamber received a $5,000 grant from South River EMC through the Operation Round Up, that will allow them to purchase the additional coats they will need.
“We are so grateful to all those who have donated coats. The coat a child receives from this project may be the only coat he or she has all winter. We are also appreciative to South River EMC for providing the grant to help us serve as many children as possible,” expressed Jackson.
Distribution of the coats will begin almost immediately so that the coats will be in the hands of their new owners before Christmas.