United Way runs coats drive

Event collects coats for vulnerable populations 

Image supplied by: Supplied by United Way
The need for coats this year is great.

Students can drop off their old winter coats for charity, thanks to a clothing drive.

United Way KFL&A is running its coat drive for the third consecutive year from Oct. 24 to Nov. 6. Bhavana Varma, ceo of United Way KFL&A, told The Journal about the Coats for Community initiative—and drop off points, distributing agencies, and ways to get involved.

“We have bins available across the community at various library branches. We were going to reach out to the [Queen’s] student leaders we work with to see if they wanted to do a coat collection as well,” Varma said.

There are several drop off points for coats in Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington. Notable drop off points near Queen’s campus include the United Way KFL&A Office and Kingston City Hall.

Varma also said United Way KFL&A is hoping to set up a bin on Queen’s campus, so students can support the campaign.

“We know many students, especially when they’re leaving after the exams, may have extra coats they want to give away we really appreciate any gifts they can give,” Varma added.

Once collected, the coats will be sorted by volunteers, and then distributed to organizations and agencies that assist those in vulnerable situations, such as Martha’s Table and the Salvation Army Community & Family Services.

“The agencies who know that their program users best will be delivering them directly to people who need them—people who are vulnerable,” Varma said. “This year, the need [for coats] is very great.”

“We’ve been collecting data [from agencies] on how many coats we need; we need 900 coats right now. That’s the number, and it will probably grow as more agencies put in their requests.”

Varma said coats must be washable, so leather and wool coats are not permitted.

“People who are homeless, people on limited income, people who just can’t afford a coat need their coats. If someone is homeless, they don’t have a place to store it,” she said.

Varma added United Way is hearing about many folks struggling because of inflation.

“People are working a couple of jobs, but the utilities and their rent is just consuming all their income and they just have no money to buy a coat,” Varma said.

Varma said United Way is advertising the initiative by hanging posters around the community, and posting information on their website and social media.

Tags

charity, clothing drive, Kington, United Way

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