Coats for Cumberland wraps up successful season

Darrell Cole
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More than 700 coats distributed across county

AMHERST – Coats for Cumberland is wrapping up another successful season that saw more than 700 coats distributed across the region.

“It was another very successful year for the program. We had a lot of donations and support from the business community and other organizations,” Empowering Beyond Barriers committee spokesperson Colleen Dowe said. “Something else we did this year is collect comment and the overwhelming majority of them were favourable and positive.”

Dowe said hundreds of coats and gently used winter clothing items were collected throughout the county and in Moncton. The organization set up distribution outlets in Amherst, River Hebert, Oxford, Pugwash, Parrsboro, Springhill and Advocate Harbour.

Another 60 coats were sent to the Amherst food bank for distribution throughout the winter.

Of the 700 or so coats that were distributed, Dowe said 317 were picked up at the Amherst location in the Amherst Centre Mall, while another 150 or so were distributed in Springhill. She said 75 were handed out in Pugwash, approximately 70 in Oxford and 30 in Parrsboro.

Dowe said there were requests for some clothing items that could not be met including snow pants for children’s Size 6 to adult large and jackets ranging in sizes from children’s six to adult 5XL.

To help meet the demand, Dowe said, donations have been received from the Cumberland Child Advocacy Board and staff at Spring Street Academy are forgoing their Christmas gift exchange to purchase more snow pants. The Atlantic Superstore also provided money for snow pants.

Dowe said Empowering Beyond Barriers will meet early in 2014 to talk about how to continue distribution during the winter months. She said it’s possible clothing could be provided to the schools to give out when the need arises.

If anyone has gently used coats or winter wear to donate, contact Dowe at 667-3319. Anyone needing clothing can also contact Dowe.

The SOAR Community Health Board has covered the cost of laundering the coats and any minor repairs over the past four years.

There have also been donations from staff at the Municipality of Cumberland and retired postal workers while Dowe credited area media for helping to get the word out, Acadian Printing helped with signs.

Sobeys, Jim Hatheway Ford, Atlantic Kia, Pugwash Co-op, Wallace Rite Stop, the Wentworth Market, Advocate Country Store, Town of Oxford, Crossroads Co-op in Parrsboro and the River Hebert Co-op served as drop-off depots, while distribution locations included the Amherst Centre Mall, Chignecto Manor, North Cumberland Memorial Hospital, the Oxford Branch of the Cumberland Regional Library, the Cumberland Health Authority, River Hebert United Church and NSCC Springhill.

Sobeys in Amherst, Jim Hatheway Ford and Bill Dowe Trucking and Excavating helped transport the coats. She thanked NSCC Springhill, Town of Oxford, Pugwash Community Health Board and the SPAR Community Health Board for helping collect coats and set up distribution centres in their areas.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Cumberland, Empowering Beyond Barriers committee, Sobeys Cumberland Child Advocacy Board Street Academy SOAR Community Health Board Co-op in Parrsboro Amherst Centre Memorial Hospital Oxford Branch Pugwash Community Health Board SPAR Community Health Board

Geographic location: AMHERST, Oxford, Pugwash River Hebert Parrsboro Springhill Moncton Advocate Harbour

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