ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Rochester Salvation Army hosts a coat drive as the temperatures start to drop. Since we're still in the middle of a pandemic, this year's event will be contactless. There are a few other changes as well.
You can now donate gently used or new coats at collection boxes in Rochester through October 23rd. In previous years, the coat distribution was inside. This year, it'll be outside in the parking lot behind the Salvation Army's community center building. Also this year, you won't need a voucher to claim a coat. Remember though, every person who wants a coat must be present in order to get one.
Rebecca Snapp with the Salvation Army, said along with winter coats, they're asking for gloves, hats and scarves. They do ask that you wash them before if possible. She said while the distribution will take place on Friday, the 23rd, they want to have enough coats to help people all winter long. "So at that date, we can at least try and take care of as much need as possible, but we know we're still going to have need after that," Snapp explained. "Even if we took care of everybody that's in Rochester right now on the 23rd, we have people that come to us all winter long, people who come for appointments at Mayo and they find they don't have a winter coat when they get here, people have coats that are damaged or lost or maybe they just need another coat because it's so cold outside. There are all sorts of circumstances that come in to play and we just want to make sure we can meet that need all winter long."
If you can't make it out during this coat drive, you'll have another chance in November. "We can collect coats all week during Spirit Week, we can serve as many people as we can," said Snapp. "Then we can see where our gaps are. Do we still need coats for women who are size XXXL? Then we can ask the community, please donate these coats and we can collect them on the 7th. We have a resource room here at the Salvation Army and we'll actually have coats available to people all winter long in this space."
Snapp said they're in need of volunteers to help organize all the coats on the 22nd and also during the actual distribution on the 23rd.