All about the coats

Volunteer Dick Williams previously helped a family find a coat, hat and gloves.

Residents in need of a coat for the winter can pick one up during the annual Coat Giveaway Day at the Caring Center on Oct. 26.

The Knights of Columbus of St. Alphonsus Liguori Roman Catholic Church, a charitable organization within the Catholic faith, partners with the Caring Center for the annual Share the Warmth Coat and Blanket Drive, also known as Coat Giveaway Day.

“If we can just do something, a small act of kindness to make their day or season brighter, we have done our job,” Gary Weisenbach, Knights of Columbus member and chairman of the Share the Warmth Coat and Blanket Drive, said.

The event will run from 9 to 11 a.m.

“This is the eighth year,” Weisenbach said. “When this first began, the focus was on the kids. The first year, we showed up and saw the line. It wasn’t just kids, it was adults too.”

Weisenbach said the drive averages 50 families served with about 125 coats and 75 blankets given away. The event is set up like a store and takes place outside in the Caring Center parking lot.

“Not everyone will come to the Coat Giveaway Day,” Theresa Hanners, executive director of the Caring Center, said. “The Caring Center is open 30 hours a week. Our (coat) supply is used to distribute on a daily basis to local families in need.”

Hanners said Royal Cleaners & Laundry in Lebanon has been hosting a coat drive on behalf of the Caring Center for more than 20 years. The coats collected from Royal Cleaners & Laundry are used to restock the Caring Center’s inventory.

“Every day it gets colder,” Hanners said. “We give away more and more coats. The numbers of how many coats are given away have probably doubled since the partnership with Royal Cleaners & Laundry. With it (the weather) turning cool so early, this year will probably break the record of coats given away.”

Hanners said residents in need of coats who are unable to make it to the Coat Giveaway Day must be a client of the Caring Center.

Residents of Boone County must fill out an intake form and show proof of residency such as a driver’s license or piece of mail to become a client.

“We are happy to pair up with the Caring Center to give back to the community that supports us,” Neil Hollingsworth, manager of Royal Cleaners & Laundry, said.

Coats can be dropped off at Royal Cleaners & Laundry from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Nov. 1.

Royal Cleaners & Laundry is at 503 W. Main St., Lebanon. The Caring Center is at 1230 Ransdell Court, Lebanon, and is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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