Terri Mansfield, a member of the Love INC board, shows off Tuesday some of the coats donated to the organization at St. Mark’s Episcopal and Lutheran Church of Grace, 657 Green St. According to Pat Jones, executive director of Love INC in Craig, the organization has given away 57 coats as of Tuesday morning, with another 319 ready to go.

Photo by Ben McCanna

Terri Mansfield, a member of the Love INC board, shows off Tuesday some of the coats donated to the organization at St. Mark’s Episcopal and Lutheran Church of Grace, 657 Green St. According to Pat Jones, executive director of Love INC in Craig, the organization has given away 57 coats as of Tuesday morning, with another 319 ready to go.

Love INC prepares to distribute free coats in Moffat County

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Terri Mansfield, a member of the Love INC board, stands Tuesday amid clothing racks at St. Mark’s Episcopal and Lutheran Church of Grace, 657 Green St. The building will serve as a distribution site for Love INC’s free coat program today and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, Tuesday and Oct. 28 from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Distribution sites

Distribution sites for Love in the Name of Christ of the Yampa Valley’s free winter coat giveaway:

When: 1 to 4 p.m. today and Thursday

Where: St. Mark’s Episcopal and Lutheran Church of Grace, 657 Green St., Craig

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fairfield Center, 200 Main St., Meeker

When: 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 25, 26 and 28

Where: St. Mark’s Episcopal and Lutheran Church of Grace, 657 Green St., Craig

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 6

Where: Rangely Town Hall, 209 East Main St., Rangely

When: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Nov. 12

Where: Sunset Meadows I, 633 Ledford St., Craig

When: Noon to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 12

Where: Sunset Meadows II, 595 Ledford St., Craig

When: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 12

Where: Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab, 943 W. Eighth Dr., Craig

Love in the Name of Christ of the Yampa Valley’s annual coat drive is underway, but donations are down this year, executive director Pat Jones said.

“I don’t know if that’s the natural order of things because people have been cleaning out the closets so many years to give to us that they’re finally down to, ‘I really need this coat, I can’t give it away this year,’” Jones said.

Every autumn since 2004, Love INC — a local chapter of a national nonprofit group that links churches for coordinated charity efforts — has collected winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves from the community for distribution to Northwest Colorado residents in need.

Last year, the group distributed 525 coats to residents in Craig, Meeker, Rangely, Oak Creek, Yampa, Hayden, Dinosaur and Steamboat Springs.

Jones said the organization had distributed 57 coats as of Tuesday morning. Another 319 coats are ready to go, she added.

The free coats will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. today and Thursday at St. Mark’s Episcopal and Lutheran Church of Grace, 657 Green St., and they will be available at locations in Meeker, Rangely and elsewhere in Craig in coming weeks.

Jones said the coats are available to all.

“Anyone is eligible,” she said. “If you need a coat, you just come in.”

Jones said there are only two restrictions on the free coats.

“One coat per person is our main rule,” Jones said. “The second rule is a person can pick up for their own children or for their spouse, but not for any other family member or friends.”

Love INC is still accepting donations, and will continue to do so throughout the changing seasons.

“We’d like to have gently used (coats),” Jones said of donations. “They really need to have zippers still working or the buttons still on them.

“And, we really want winter coats. Some people have been giving us jackets. We don’t turn them away, but with Northwest Colorado winters, we do need the heavier winter coats.”

Coat donations can be taken to Love INC’s office at 656 School St., among other places.

“In fact, most (area) churches would be glad to take the coats,” Jones said.

Jones said the coats are collected, then sorted into piles for dry cleaning or regular laundry. The coats are cleaned by volunteers, including Loyd’s Cleaners in Craig, Jones said.

Once cleaned, the items are sorted into piles for men, women and children, and hung on racks. The racks are then moved from one distribution site to another throughout the fall.

“We also go to nursing homes, and Sunset Meadows I and II,” Jones said. “We take the coats to the places where it’s hard for them to get out.”

Jones said businesses or individuals wishing to host a coat distribution are welcome to contact Love INC.

“(The distribution) can be a couple of hours or a couple of days,” Jones said. “If they want to be active in it, we’ll put them to work.”

Despite decreased donations this year, Jones said the community is “amazing.”

“We appreciate the generosity of our community,” she said. “It’s incredible.”

For more information on donations, distribution sites or hosting opportunities, contact Love INC of the Yampa Valley at 826-4400.

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