In a community where giving is second nature, a call for help is never dreaded and an answer is never far away.
That’s true even in August, when temperatures soar into the 90s on a daily basis, with extreme humidity close behind, and the first horn is sounded for the unthinkable — warm, winter coats.
While it’s hard to believe talk would turn to coats this time of year, preparation is now under way to ensure that the neediest of Sampson’s citizens — children and adults — will have something warm to wrap themselves in when the sticky weather of summer turns bone-chilling cold.
It’s really not that far away as it is, and with organization the key to a successful campaign, making mention now of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce’s annual coat drive seems highly appropriate.
Moving into its 9th year, the Chamber Coat Drive will kick off a month earlier this year in an attempt to collect and ready coats for distribution a little earlier, wrapping residents without the advantage of coats in them by the time the chill hits the air.
To that end, the Chamber drive will begin Sept. 28 and continue through Halloween, Oct. 31, with sponsors being sought now to help offset the costs associated with the drive.
We are echoing the Chamber’s call early for much the same reason, hoping we can inspire folks to begin thinking about those new or gently used coats hanging in closets or taking up box space underneath a bed, coats that haven’t been used and likely won’t be used.
Those are exactly the type of coats Chamber members would like you to donate to their effort.
Donations are acceptable, too, another reason to make the call early, giving the extraordinary givers in our community the chance to plan their budgets around a contribution to the Coat Closet.
The Chamber has witnessed a tremendous influx of coats in the last eight years, climbing from a total 1,000 coats contributed in its first year to nearly double that in year eight.
That just goes to show that people in our wonderful community understand the need and want to do their part to help meet it. With help from local agencies like the Sampson County Partnership for Children, the Department of Social Services and Clinton City and Sampson County schools, children and adults are identified and coats distributed to those in need.
As we’ve said every year since the Coat Closet began, there’s likely no better gift to give someone than that of warmth.
No one wants to think of a child or elderly person shivering because they cannot afford a coat to keep them warm.
Thanks to the Chamber and our giving community, less of that happens each year.
So, it may be extremely hot outside right now, but winter is coming and the need remains a constant across Sampson.
We hope you will consider being a part of the Chamber’s Coat Closet, giving how and what you can. Someone will be warmer during the bitter days and nights of winter because of it.