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Coats for Kids program has 200 coats and needs more

MARSHALL — The uncommonly cold October has Minnesotans needing warmer coats earlier in the year than usual. As people prepare for the long winter ahead, United Community Action Partnership in Marshall is seeing an even greater need for its Coats for Kids program.

“Coats for Kids provided winter jackets for 450 children last year,” said UCAP Executive Director Nancy Straw. “Requests for coats this year are already over 850.”

UCAP wants to meet every request for a warm winter jacket, but as of right now the agency has only received around 200 donations. Distribution of coats is less than two weeks away, so the need is immediate.

“This program relies 100 percent on donations,” said Straw.

Straw urges community members to look through their closets and donate “gently worn children’s coats.”

People who no longer have last year’s coat hanging in the closet can still help. Coats for Kids also accepts monetary donations. “Any money we receive is used to purchase winter clothing for kids whose size is not available from coats that are donated,” she said.

Donations are being accepted at Coats for Kids collection bins in Marshall and surrounding communities or at the Marshall UCAP office through Oct. 17. Donated coats should be in good condition. Carrow’s Cleaners in Marshall has donated cleaning services to make them look like new. Coats will be given to kids, by appointment, Oct. 22 and Oct. 23 at the Marshall Area YMCA.

Anyone who can’t help with donations can still help make sure Coats for Kids is successful. “Volunteers from across the community will help to distribute the coats,” Straw said.

Winter items can be dropped off in bins at the following Marshall locations: Hy-Vee, Wal-Mart, YMCA, Cornerstone United Methodist, Menards, Shopko, Bremer Bank, US Bank, Wells Fargo, United Community Action Partnership, Runnings Store, Runnings Corporate Office, Hoganson Chiropractic, Grace Life, First Lutheran, St. Stephen, Living Word, Holy Redeemer, Midwest Cleaners (cleans coats donated at this location) and Subway Restaurants (receive a free 6-inch sub with your donation. Accepting donations on Sunday).

Dropoff bins in other communities are at the following locations: Tracy Food Pride, Tracy Hospital, Minneota Public Elementary, St. Edward’s in Minneota, Cottonwood Hardware Hank, Cottonwood North Star Insurance, Cottonwood Swan Lake Church and Cottonwood Christ Lutheran.

Sponsors of the Coats For Kids programs include Schwan’s Company, ADM, and Marshall Radio.

For more information, call 507-537-1416.

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