Essex Community Services collecting Coats for Kids, looking for Snow Patrol volunteers

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

by Sylene Argent

Though community members are enjoying a warm fall, the cooler weather is on its way. In anticipation of that, Essex Community Services is collecting new and gently used winter wear for the Coats for Kids program and is also looking for locals to volunteer for the Snow Patrol program.

The local organization is not just collecting coats for youth, but adults, too, through the Coats for Kids program. Often, sizes that will fit teens are most needed, in addition to snow-pants for all ages as well.

Staff and volunteers at Essex Community Services can arrange pick up times for those who have items to donate to the program. Otherwise, items can be dropped off at the office in the Wellness Plaza on Victoria Avenue during business hours.

This is the only Essex Centre drop-off site, Essex Community Services Executive Director Kelly Stack said, adding the local organization gets the donated items cleaned and prepared for someone in need before distribution. The donated items stay within the community.

November 4 is scheduled as the distribution day, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that date, those in need can stop by the office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays to get a coat through the program. Stack believes coats will still be available after the Christmas holidays. The warmer climate typically experienced in the region can delay individuals from having to grab a coat sooner in the season.

Stack noted if someone drops in and their size is not available, Essex Community Services will reach out to other organizations to find one that will fit.

In addition to items, area individuals can also forward monetary donations to the program that will help with the purchasing of new coats if a certain size is needed and cannot be found.

On average, Essex Community Services collects and distributes between 600 and 700 coats annually through the program. Last year’s mild winter had Essex Community Services experienced a slower-than-average distribution rate, however.

Donations to the program can be dropped off at Essex Community Service’s upcoming Chili Cookoff, which will take place inside the Shaheen Community Room at the Essex Centre Sports Complex on October 26 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Those able to volunteer with the Snow Patrol program are also asked to get in touch with Essex Community Services, as well. Those volunteers are linked to individuals within the community in need to clear sidewalks and walkways after a snowfall.

Donations of canned goods, toiletries, and gift cards for grocery stores with small denominations, are also always accepted for the Essex Community Service’s Community Closet program, which supports individuals and families who are experiencing a crisis or need a gap filled while transitioning to getting aid from local food banks.