Local nonprofit organization The Caring Place has launched its annual Community Coat Drive, and is asking for donations to help those in need stay warm this winter. Corinne Freeman, executive …
Local nonprofit organization The Caring Place has launched its annual Community Coat Drive, and is asking for donations to help those in need stay warm this winter.
Corinne Freeman, executive director of The Caring Place, said the winter presents unique challenges to those in the community who struggle financially, but it is also “a wonderful opportunity to give.”
“In past years, we’ve had a great response for our coat drive,” Freeman said. “The community has continued to show support for it, but we can always use more coats. There is a constant need for them.”
The annual event started several years after former Superior Dry Cleaners owners Danny and Leann Poole noticed a need and realized they were in a unique position to help. They started a coat drive and donated their cleaning services to provide The Caring Place with warm, clean coats.
The event has grown since then. Superior Dry Cleaners, which is now under different ownership, continues to sponsor the drive with The Caring Place. This year, more than 20 local churches, businesses and civic organizations are involved.
The Caring Place is accepting donations of new or gently used coats, gloves, winter hats and blankets to help those who need them.
“There is a demand for all types of quality winter wear — not just coats,” Freeman said. “We also need all sizes, from children’s on up.”
One can drop off donations at one of several collection boxes throughout town. All donations will then be taken to Superior Dry Cleaners, which is providing The Caring Place with free cleaning services.
Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
• Superior Dry Cleaners — 46 25th St. N.W.
• Athens Federal Bank — 950 25th St. N.W.
• Athens Federal Bank — 3855 N. Ocoee St.
• Award Realty — 1009 Keith St.
• Bank of Cleveland — 75 Bobby Taylor Ave.
• Bank of Cleveland — 1400 25th St. N.W.
• Bank of Cleveland — 93 North Ocoee St.
• Bank of Cleveland — 190 Paul Huff Parkway
• Bank of Cleveland — 1200 Perimeter Drive
• Candies Creek Baptist Church — 294 Old Eureka Road N.W.
• The Church at Gracepoint — 2575 Old Freewill Road
• Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce — 225 Keith St. SW
• Cleveland Dental Associates — 115 Interstate Drive N.W.
• Dwelling Place Church International — 523 Urbane Road N.E.
• Public Church — 850 17th St N.W.
• Regions Bank — 800 25th St.
• Regions Bank — 2450 Treasury Drive
• Regions Bank — 20 Ocoee St.
• Regions Bank — 178 Paul Huff Parkway
• Westmore Church of God — 2412 Wolfe Ave. N.W.
The Caring Place is a Christian 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which serves the community by providing clothing, food, social work services and more.
Freeman said staff there have learned a good coat can make a big difference in a person’s quality of life during the winter, yet it is difficult for some families to afford coats for everyone. This is especially true of families with growing children.
“We serve on average 1,300 people a month, 80 percent of whom receive clothing as well as food,” Freeman said. “We also will not turn away anyone who needs just a coat. We have some clients who come to us just for that, and we are glad to help."
“We are really excited about this drive and hope to continue to enjoy the support from the community,” Freeman added.
The Community Coat Drive will continue until Dec. 31. For more information, visit www.thecaringplaceonline.org or call 423-472-4414.
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