Spreading some warmth

LIFT-UP's annual winter coat drive begins

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— LIFT-UP of Routt County will begin collecting winter coats to distribute to local people who are in need of assistance.

The coats will be available to members of the community from Nov. 13 to Nov. 15 at the Yampa Valley Electric entrance.

David Freseman who helped organize the event for LIFT-UP said last year's collection resulted in close to a thousand coats being donated.

"There were almost more than we needed," he said.

People that come to Yampa Valley Electric can pick out a coat for themselves and their family members that are in need of them. A volunteer from LIFT-UP will be present during the distribution time to assist people coming in.

Freseman says that leftover coats can be vouched to people throughout the winter, given to thrift stores in Craig or Cerebral Palsy stores in Denver.

Basically, he said, all coats collected will be being worn by people who need them.

LIFT-UP allows people in need of emergency supplies to obtain vouchers from the food bank to receive items from the LIFT-UP store.

Some winter jackets leftover from the distribution will be available during the winter for needy people.

Freseman says that Advocates for Battering and Abuse will often write vouchers for people visiting the center and that a lot of single parents with children will receive cloths and other items through their operation.

Coats can be donated from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10 at Steamboat Cleaners at Central Park Plaza, Steamboat Cleaners next to Clark's Market or Safeway.

All jackets donated will be cleaned by Steamboat Cleaners. Dan and Carol Schmidt, owners of Steamboat Cleaners, volunteered to clean all the coats last year and plan on doing the same this year.

They said last year's coats were distributed to many places, helping many people.

"We're glad to do it and to be able to help out the community," said Dan Schmidt.

LIFT-UP members ask that people only donate warm winter jackets.

Freseman said last year they received too many spring jackets which defeated the purpose of trying to provide someone with a warm jacket for the winter.

The donation of mittens, gloves and hats are also welcome, so LIFT-UP volunteers can send people home with not only a nice jacket, but some nice gloves and a hat to go with it.

Most people who come to get the jackets are families, Freseman said. He said with the large amount of families coming to the distribution there is a larger need for children's coats.

The effort to keep people warm for the winter does not go without recognition from those benefiting.

People receiving the jackets always express a great amount of gratitude, Freseman said.

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