Keeping the cold out

Love INC coat distribution numbers up from last year

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Increased coat distribution is evidence of increased need, said Pat Jones, the director of Love In the Name of Christ, known as Love INC.

The organization's annual coat drive yielded more than 650 coats, up from last year's 500 coats.

"I think it's been very, very successful this year," Jones said. "We've helped a lot of needy people."

Love INC volunteers have distributed donated coats in Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties since mid-October. Coats left over from area distributions are sent to a rescue mission in Denver.

"Every single one goes to someone who needs it," Jones said. "There are a lot of men and women who live on the streets (in Denver)."

Volunteer time reaches nearly 400 hours to match coats with new owners. That total does not include churches' and Loyd's Cleaners' time spent laundering the coats. Many volunteers and churches donate use of vehicles to transport volunteers and coats, Jones said.

"That's just part of the service," she said. "If God wants us to do something, we do it."

That includes helping however possible, Jones said. At one distribution, Love INC did not have the right-sized coat for a woman. So, volunteers collected money and purchased one.

"What a blessing," Jones said of the organization's volunteers.

Wayne and Rebecca Eller, members of Anchor Way Baptist Church in Steamboat Springs, are two such volunteers. The couple is distributing coats this afternoon in Dinosaur.

The Ellers became involved with Love INC about a month and a half ago after a request from other church members.

"We were just interested in getting out and helping by distributing things that are not available," Rebecca Eller said.

She said organizations sometimes overlook outlying communities. So she wants to make sure residents have everything they need this season.

Rebecca Eller said if there are coats left over from today's distribution in Dinosaur, she and Wayne will host an Oak Creek distribution, likely before the end of the year.

For more information on Love INC or the coat distributions, call the organization at 826-4400.

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