Coats for Cumberland is returning for a fifth year with drop-off boxes located in seven communities.
AMHERST – A popular program that helps provide winter clothing to area families is returning for a fifth year.
The Empowering Beyond Barriers committee’s Coats for Cumberland program is back with collection bins in place at several locations around the county.
“Just as has been the case in other years, we’re expecting the response to be strong again this year,” Colleen Dowe of Empowering Beyond Barriers said Thursday. “The goal of the program is to make sure no one is cold this winter and thanks the generosity of so many people we expect to achieve that goal again this year.”
Through the program, people can bring their gently used outwear to various drop-off points, including Sobeys, Atlantic Kia, Jim Hatheway Ford, Maggie’s Place and the Salvation Army.
Other drop-off locations will be established in Springhill, Oxford, Parrsboro, Pugwash, River Hebert and Advocate Harbour.
On Nov. 22, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., the clothing that’s collected in Amherst will be distributed at the Amherst Centre Mall while other distribution locations in the county will be announced in the coming weeks.
Last year, more than 700 items of clothing were distributed across Cumberland County.
Dowe said there remains a tremendous demand for children’s clothing, such as jackets, boots, snow pants, hats and mittens. However, she added, there is an increasing need among adults – especially larger sizes.
“We are seeing a big demand for youth sizes eight to 16 and for men’s and women’s extra large and 2XL,” she said. “In some cases, parents put everything into their children, but don’t look after their own clothing needs.”
The Springhill Oxford Amherst and Region Community Health Board helps with laundry costs for some of the clothing items, while Dowe said a number of previous recipients have come back to help out as voluteers.
“That number has been growing every year,” she said. “We have a number of people who have been helped by the program in the past who have come back to volunteer their time.”