Coats for Kids begins distribution

Photo by Breckin Wells On Tuesday, Destinee Farnsworth, 20, of Marietta tries on a new coat at the Coats for Kids distribution site at the Dime Bank building downtown Marietta.

MARIETTA — Tuesday was the first day for local residents to pick up coats, scarves and hats at the Coats for Kids distribution site at the Dime Bank building in Marietta.

Until Dec. 15 anyone is welcome to pick up as many coats as they need to keep themselves and those around them warm.

The distribution site will be open 10-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Dec. 14.

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program’s Coats for Kids campaign is now in its 12th year.

On the first day of distribution, 40 coats were donated to residents out of the 58, leaving the distribution site with only 18 coats in various sizes.

“We had people waiting at the door at before we even opened,” said Sandy Bach, co-chair of this year’s Coats for Kids campaign.

RSVP volunteer, Mary Emge said normally by this time, the distribution site has a lot more coats.

Though the number of coats seem to be down for the distribution site’s first week, Lisa Valentine, director of RSVP, said 500 to 600 coats are donated each year to families and children across the county.

“The community is absolutely amazing and we have never been at a loss for coats,” she said.

The campaign began gathering gently used and new winter coats, gloves and scarves for all ages at the beginning of November and will continue throughout Dec. 11 at donation stations throughout Marietta, Belpre and Reno.

The donations are picked up weekly and then brought to the distribution site.

Before distribution, RSVP volunteers check each coat to ensure all zippers and buttons work and the fabric is clean.

Due to the cold weather, Bach said the campaign decided to start to distributing coats the week of Thanksgiving.

Emge has been an RSVP volunteer for the coat campaign for eight years.

“We would like to ask the community during the Thanksgiving weekend or during their Black Friday shopping to keep us in mind,” said Emge. “If you come across a buy one, get one sale on coats, take that opportunity to donate a coat for a child.”

Bach said the campaign is in need of all sizes of coats ranging from infant to adult, but will also accept scarves, gloves, hats, snow pants and hoodies.

“We love the children and we want to keep them warm,” said Bach. “We want to give and that’s what this season is all about.”

Destinee Farnsworth, 20, of Marietta was at the distribution site on Tuesday to pick up coats for herself as well as her family.

“I think this is great, it gives us a good opportunity to pick up coats that we will use all winter,” said Farnsworth.

When people come to the distribution site, Bach said there are no qualifications to receive a coat.

“We ask no questions,” she said. “People should never feel ashamed, anything can help. If you need it come and take it, we will never deny anyone a warm coat.”