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Originally published: 2013-11-11 16:41:07
Last modified: 2013-11-11 16:41:52

Coat drives seek to keep community warm

by Staff Reports

As temperatures nosedive this week, several coat drives are now underway to help area residents in need this winter.

Mast General Store is partnering with Columbia Sportswear for this year's annual Share the Warmth coat, sweater and blanket collection campaign now through Nov. 30.

Residents are urged to drop off their gently worn, clean coats, jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats and blankets so others can stay comfortable this winter. The items may be dropped off at the Mast stores in Valle Crucis or Boone.

Now in its ninth year, Share the Warmth supports different groups in each Mast General Store Community. The donations at the original store will benefit United Way, while the Annex will support Hospitality House and Valle Crucis Elementary. Donations to the Boone store will assist Watauga High School.

"When we proposed this idea to our long-time vendor Columbia, they were eager to help out," said Fred Martin, president of Mast Store. "They are contributing their own generous donation to help our communities."

Meanwhile, A Cleaner World's "Give a Kid a Coat" campaign is entering its final days.

Through Nov. 16, residents can drop off their outgrown or unneeded coats at the nearest A Cleaner World dry cleaner. Coats will then be cleaned, repaired and delivered to the Salvation Army for distribution.

The campaign had collected 9,720 coats as of last week.

"We've had mild weather so far this fall, but winter is fast approaching," said Chris Edwards, president of A Cleaner World. "We need donors to step forward quickly to meet the need."