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The Warners’ Warm-Up Coat Drive in Franklin County collected just under 1,300 coats, according to Gretchen Farrell, local organizer.

The two-week drive seeking new or gently used coats kicked off Nov. 1 and ran through Nov. 14.

“We are thrilled to have collected that many coats, which is a little bit more than our total last year,” said Farrell. “We have been fairly steady with collection numbers of around 1,200-1,500 each year in our eight years of this event happening in Franklin County.”

Farrell said this year’s drive was a success in many ways with three new collection sites added and a commitment for another new location next year.

“The overall excitement of this event throughout the community has been phenomenal,” she said. “We have many businesses and community people already planning for next year’s event, so we are well established here and will keep going on collecting coats for many more years.”

Coats Sorted

The coats were sorted this past Saturday, Nov. 18, at The Presbyterian Church of Washington.

“We had almost 50 volunteers who did all the sorting, bagging and cleaning up in a record 2 1/2 hours,” Farrell said. “Despite the bad weather outside, we had a fun time indoors as we made a mountain of all the collected coats and got to work.”

Volunteers included members of the Presbyterian Church and its Mission Committee, along with Pastor Pat Gruber and his family, and students from St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.

“The youth were great to have helping and many of them have been doing this for several years,” Farrell said.

Agencies

The coats will be picked up this week and next by 10 area agencies, two more than last year, and then distributed to those in need, she noted.

The agencies are as follows:

Loving Hearts Outreach, Union Food Pantry, Agape House of Pacific, Agape House of St. Clair, First Presbyterian Church of Union Second Blessings, Pregnancy Assistance Center, Washington Emergency Relief Fund, Meramec Mission in Sullivan, Franklin County Children’s Division and the Hermann Community Food Pantry.

“Anyone needing a coat, can contact one of these agencies,” said Farrell.

As the drive went on and boxes collected, Farrell said many people asked when the drive would be held again and how they could help. She said the drive is always held the first two weeks of November.

For more information or anyone interested in volunteering, can contact Farrell at 314-578-1730 or tom2000@charter.net.

“We send out a big thank you to every person and every business in the Franklin County area that generously and graciously donated gently used coats and especially to the many people who went out and bought new coats to donate,” Farrell said.