Love INC seeks more coats to help area residents weather the cold | CraigDailyPress.com

Love INC seeks more coats to help area residents weather the cold

Lauren Blair

Jana Rowe, office volunteer coordinator for Love INC, sits next to a small selection of coats at their resource center which have been collected to distribute to community members in need. The organization has received significantly fewer coats this year and is seeking more donations to add to their fall distribution push taking place now through December.

As the last wave of summer warmth fades into freezing nights and cool autumn days, people are digging through their closets to pull out their winter gear. But for some families, staying warm and keeping their children snug during frigid temperatures can be a challenge.

That's why Love In The Name of Christ, or Love INC, is hosting its 10th annual coat drive to provide coats for those in need.

But this year is turning up fewer donations, and Love INC Director Pat Jones is hoping they'll have enough coats to go around.

"In years past, we've had enough coats … but this year, no," Jones said.

The organization provides warm winter wear — including a large quantity of gloves, hats and scarves donated this year by Walmart — to several communities in Moffat and Routt counties, including Craig, Meeker, Dinosaur, Hayden, Yampa and Oak Creek. Love INC enlists the help of local churches and businesses in each of these towns to serve as distribution sites.

"Anywhere there's a need, that's the idea," Jones said about the donation. "We're helping the whole Yampa Valley, but this year we just have fewer coats than we've had in the past."

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Last year, Love INC distributed a total of 365 coats in addition to other cold weather gear, compared to as many as 525 in years prior. Jones typically starts the season with upward of 700 coats before the big distribution push begins Oct. 1.

And, "I usually have an overwhelming number of dirty coats to wash," Jones said, in addition to the 700 clean ones.

This year, she is starting with only 394, with another 100 dirty coats that recently got washed with the help of A1 Dry Cleaners, Loyd's Cleaners and local church members.

With the fewer numbers, Jones said she went through her own closet to see if there were any coats she could contribute.

"These things are covered with dust and cobwebs," Jones said. "I haven't worn these for years! So pull them out and donate them."

The coats are just one part of Love INC's mission to identify and meet the needs of the communities it serves, and Jones seems confident that local individuals will come through with the donations they need.

"That's the great thing about this community," Jones said. "People here have the heart to help."

Love INC accepts donations of coats year-round. They can be dropped off at its main collection site at 656 School St., or at Calvary Baptist Church at 1050 Yampa Ave., The Journey First Baptist Church at 1150 W. Ninth St. or Hayden Congregational Church at 202 Jefferson Ave. in Hayden. For more information, call 970-826-4400. Children's coats of all sizes and adult coat sizes 2XL and 3XL are their greatest need.