Becoming a part of some families’ holiday traditions, Coats for Kids is continuing in Pictou County for a 12th year. The idea was sparked a dozen years ago when Erin MacLeod saw a child leaving the Shepherds’ Lunch Room without a coat.
The scene gave MacLeod the idea that it would be possible to collect coats for those that cannot keep up with growing children. After 12 years the project is undertaking a transition this year and receiving help from Northumberland Regional High School.
“In hopes that next year we are going to hand it off,” said MacLeod.
For anyone that may not of heard about the program before, Coats for Kids collects donations of new or gently used coats, ski pants, boots, hats and mittens for both children and adults that may not have the funds to purchase them otherwise.
Each year the event finds itself in need of certain sizes that frequently run out or are most popular. Boys coats from size seven to 12 as well as ski pants and adult extra large coats are always needed.
Both Anne Blandford and MacLeod, both involved in the organization, noted that they see many families return each year; some bringing back coats from the year before that their children out grew, to be re donated.
Anyone looking to make a donation can drop it off at Sobeys head office in Stellarton, The United Way of Pictou County as well as the Department of Community Services in New Glasgow. Pick up coats for those in need will be at the New Glasgow Fire Department on November 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Just seeing people happy and coming in in a sweater and leaving in a coat,” is Blandford’s favourite part of the event.
Anne Blandford, left, Lainey Smith and Erin MacLeod show off some of the items already donated for this year’s Coats for Kids event taking place November 12. (Brimicombe photo)