The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 30, 2012

Non-profits collecting winter coats for those in need

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — In anticipation of colder, more seasonable weather, several local nonprofits are collecting coats and winter outer-wear for those in need.

“The level of need in this community is high, it truly is,” said Maj. John Dancer, of the Salvation Army of Enid. “We want to make sure everyone has a warm coat for the winter.”

The local Salvation Army coat drive this year is being coordinated by Carter Healthcare and Hospice.

“We just wanted to do some community service and help out in the local area,” said Stacy Palmer, state hospice director for Carter Healthcare and Hospice.

Palmer said Carter workers regularly see patients, particularly older patients, who can’t afford adequate clothing for winter weather.

“We see, in patients across the state of Oklahoma, that they don’t always have the funding they need for their basic necessities,” Palmer said. “We want to help out in our community, especially for our older patients, but also for kids.”

Palmer said Carter’s Enid office is collecting coats as a pilot program for the company’s five hospice locations in the state.

Coats can be donated at the Carter Healthcare and Hospice office at 2324 W. Garriott. Palmer said coats can be used, but need to be clean and “gently used.” For information, call the Carter Healthcare and Hospice office at 237-3672.

Dancer said coats collected by Carter Healthcare and Hospice will be distributed to those in need. He said donations of coats, hats and gloves also may be dropped off at the Salvation Army office, 516 N. Independence. Dancer said donations for the coat drive should be dropped off at the office, not at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

For information, call the Salvation Army office at 237-1910 or follow the Enid Salvation Army page on Facebook.

Hope Outreach also is collecting coats and winter garments to be distributed through its Homeless Ministries Day Center at 815 W. Maine.

Leland Streck, director of the day center, said individuals and churches begin bringing in coats, hats and gloves this time of year for Enid’s homeless.

“When we have someone who needs them, we pass them on,” Streck said.

He said large and extra-large coats are most needed, along with men’s and women’s gloves and hats.

“We don’t have a lot of children come through the day center, and the men’s and women’s items are the bigger need,” Streck said.

While kids’ sizes are not the priority at the Hope Outreach day center, there are plenty of kids in Enid who need warm coats for winter.

Coldwell Banker Realty III is partnering with Forgotten Ministries this year to expand the Coats for Kids program and get warm coats to kids in need.

The program collects coats of all sizes, but focuses on coats for school-age children, said Coldwell Banker Realty III Realtor Justin Helterbrand.

Coldwell Banker collects the coats and then distributes them through Enid Public Schools counselors. Parents who need coats for their children should go to their children’s school counselor with what they need.

Helterbrand said donations in excess of what’s needed for the school kids will be distributed this year through Forgotten Ministries.

Coat donations can be taken to Coldwell Banker, 101 N. Van Buren, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call 233-8833.