Do you have any old coats taking up space in your closet?
If so, the Kamloops Salvation Army wants them for its 2020 Coats for Folks campaign.
The campaign is focused on getting good quality winter coats into the hands and onto the backs of those who might not ordinarily have access to them as winter approaches.
The program has been running in Kamloops for a number of years. Each fall, the Salvation Army partners with a local cleaning company to get the second-hand coats laundered before they’re distributed.
This year, the organization is partnering with Thompson Cleaners and Tailors.
“People can take their winter coats and they can drop them right off at Thompson Cleaners,” Capt. Kelly Fifield of the Salvation Army said. “He cleans them for us and then we pick them up and we distribute through a few locations.”
Coats will be distributed through the Pit Stop program at Kamloops United Church downtown and through the Out of the Cold shelter at The Mustard Seed downtown. They will also be handed out from the Salvation Army offices at 344 Poplar St. in North Kamloops.
Coats should be in good shape, but Fifield said they don’t need to be pristine. She also reminds people to make sure that they are winter coats and not spring or summer jackets.
Donated coats can be for men or women, boys or girls, of all ages.
“People like to think that they’re just going to the people on the street, but the reality is that we serve a lot of families that are walking the line between having a house and being homeless or just scraping by,” she said. “Winter coats are expensive and, for people who are struggling to get by, they don’t always have the income to replace those things.”
Community support is vital for the success of such a program and, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still being felt in all walks of life, Coats for Folks could be especially important this year,” Fifield said.
The campaign is running until Oct. 21. Thompson Cleaners and Tailors is located in Sahali Mall at 195-945 Columbia St. W.