Coats for the Cold is up to 5,000 donated coats so far this year, but they say, the demand is high and community help is needed.
“We donated over 150 coats this morning,” said Tavarra, Saige and Frances, fifth graders from Arcata Elementary
It's the seventh year for Coats for the Cold and Wednesday at Rainbow Self Storage, volunteers dropped off coats they had donated and organizations were able to come pick out what coats they need and take the coats with them.
Coats for the Cold has bins set out all over the county at various locations and is having a great turnout this year. But founder Robert Lohn says there’s a big demand for coats in Humboldt County.
“It looks like a lot of coats and the count’s probably going to be 5,000, but it's not going to get us through the year. Probably in about six months, I’ll be getting calls from people that are still looking for clothing,” said Robert Lohn, Founder of Coats for the Cold.
The cause would not be possible without multiple efforts from local businesses, schools and the community.
"The real story, is how the community in Eureka and Humboldt County has got involved in the last seven years,” says Lohn.
“You know, the more we get involved with helping each other the better. It's about looking after each other and spreading the love," said volunteer, Henry Vargas.
Coats for the Cold accepts gently used coats for different outreach programs. But they encourage new coats and say individuals alone, have donated over 200 brand new coats since Christmas.
"The emphasis is; new coats for children, taking advantage of January clearance sales and buying hundred dollar coats for less than 20 dollars," said Lohn.
Lohn also says, he’s established partnerships to hopefully keep this program going well into the future and that it means so much for a child to have a new coat.
"They're going to bed hungry, they're going to bed cold and scared and all they have to look forward to, is to get up in the morning and have nothing. Except maybe a brand new coat. And the self esteem that these children get, is worth no amount of money can pay for that,” Lohn said.
"He's built something that will last long into the future and the fact that he's willing to share this model and the name of the program with other communities and encouraging them to do so, I think, it’s brilliant," said Anne Holcomb, Executive Director of Food for People.
Donations will be accepted through February 3 and the last official coat distribution day will be February 4th.
You can find donation locations at http://coatsforthecold.org/