Warm for the winter

Love INC provides coats for people in need

How to help

Donation locations:

• Loyd's Cleaners, 552 Breeze St. in Craig

• Hayden Congregational Church, 202 Jefferson Ave., in Hayden

• Calvary Baptist Church, 1050 Yampa Ave., in Craig

• Love INC of the Yampa Valley, 659 School St. in Craig

— There's only one requirement for people needing winter coats through Love INC of the Yampa Valley's annual coat drive: One coat per person.

Where a person lives, how much money a person makes and any other nitpicky eligibility requirements are out the window, Love INC director Pat Jones said, when it comes to clothing people in need this winter.

"Anyone can have a coat," Jones said Monday, two-plus weeks into her organization's push to acquire coats from the community. "We want you to have a coat if you need one. : If you need one, come and get one.

"We'll distribute (coats) to anyone in the whole valley who needs one."

Love INC of the Yampa Valley, a nonprofit, nondenominational faith-based organization, has been collecting coats since mid-September as part of its annual drive to keep area residents warm in the face of cold, Northwestern Colorado winter months.

The drive, which enlists local churches and community members to donate coats, mittens, gloves, hats and other apparel of all sizes, ends Oct. 13. This marks the fourth year Love INC has organized the drive, and each year the group ends up clothing more people than it did the year before.

"It grows every year," Jones said. "In 2005, it was 500, and last year it was 600."

The donations cover a wide area, with free coats and other apparel going to residents in Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties. This year, Jones said Love INC may also include Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek, and possibly Baggs, Wyo., should the organization be contacted by anyone in those cities needing assistance.

"We just want to make sure everyone has a chance to get a coat," she said.

Community members wishing to donate coats or other winter wear may deliver them to one of three Craig locations or one in Hayden. The organization will only accept the listed apparel.

Distribution of the coats will take place in October and November in Craig, Hayden, Meeker and Rangely.

Jones said the biggest need this year is for extra large and extra-extra large wear for adults, and coats of all sizes for children.

"Children," Jones said. "It's always children. We never get enough for the kids. Children's coats are at a premium."

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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