‘Even just one coat can really help people who are in need’

Coat donations accepted until Dec. 15; coats distributed 9-11 a.m. at Pullman Child Welfare

There+are+drop-off+boxes+at+Walmart%2C+Pullman+Building+Supply%2C+Neill%E2%80%99s+Flowers+and+Gifts%2C+Four+Star+Supply%2C+Dissmore%E2%80%99s%2C+Columbia+Bank%2C+Washington+Trust+Bank+and+Umpqua+Bank

LAUREN PETTIT

There are drop-off boxes at Walmart, Pullman Building Supply, Neill’s Flowers and Gifts, Four Star Supply, Dissmore’s, Columbia Bank, Washington Trust Bank and Umpqua Bank

LOREN NEGRON, Evergreen reporter

A local volunteer group is holding its annual Coats for Kids Drive until Dec. 15 to support families with children in Pullman Public Schools. 

Pullman Child Welfare’s drive started in October this year. The annual event has been occurring for over 20 years, said coats drive co-coordinator Kara Bates. Individuals can donate new or gently used coats.

There are drop-off boxes at Walmart, Pullman Building Supply, Neill’s Flowers and Gifts, Four Star Supply, Dissmore’s, Columbia Bank, Washington Trust Bank and Umpqua Bank, said coats drive co-coordinator Travis Bates.

Kara and Travis Bates have volunteered for the coats drive for eight years. Travis Bates said they collect coats left at the drop-off boxes once a week.

“It’s been a really interesting experience because we’ve really gotten to see the generosity in the community,” Kara Bates said.

They collect about 20-35 coats weekly, she said. The coats are taken to the PCW food bank where they are washed, sorted and distributed to families.

Coat distributions happen from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday at 108 NW Stadium Way, said Debbie Thompsen, director of PCW’s food bank.

“Any client that has children is free to choose the coats they want,” she said. “They walk out with a coat for every child they have.”

Because of COVID-19, only two people can enter the food bank at a time, Thompsen said.

“Even just one coat can really help people who are in need,” Kara Bates said.