Catholic Charities’ ninth annual coat drive helps hundreds stay warm
Coats, winter gear given away with Law Enforcement Immigrant Alliance
If you’re organized and your heart is right, you too might be able to help 100 people an hour.
This year’s Catholic Charities’ coat drive, now in its ninth year, was one of the biggest ever. When it was done, Catholic Charities had given away 561 pieces of winter clothing — 403 coats along with snow pants, snow boots and other winter gear.
“On one day alone, we helped 100 people an hour,” Catholic Charities’ Megan Bonta said.
The two-day giveaway is the culmination of weeks of collecting and organizing at Eagle River Presbyterian Church in Avon. A local food bank even had food and other supplies for people to pick up.
“Everyone who needed a coat got one,” Marian McDonough with Catholic Charities said.
Some local retailers donated coats and other gear, but most items were donated from the community. Hundreds of people sought out donation boxes at police stations around the valley.
“It truly is a great community effort. We are so grateful to you for helping us keep local families warm this winter,” Bonta said.
Catholic Charities runs the coat drive in conjunction with the Law Enforcement Immigrant Alliance, which consists of representatives from the valley’s immigrant community who meet regularly with the heads of Eagle County’s law enforcement agencies. The agencies’ goal is to share resources, information and build trust and collaboration with the immigrant community, Bonta said.
“The Alliance is doing great work to build trusting relationships with the immigrant community in Eagle County,” Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger said.
McDonough and Bonta said Catholic Charities is grateful to its volunteers and partner agencies, including: the Knights of Columbus, the organizations of the Law Enforcement Immigrant Alliance (including Catholic Charities, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Vail Police, Avon Police, Eagle Police, Bright Future Foundation, Salvation Army, Eagle County School District, Eagle County, Family Connect, YouthPower365, The Literacy Project, and community members), FirstBank, Sun & Ski, Mountain Recreation, SOS Outreach, Cynthia Pillsbury and family, and Eagle River Presbyterian Church.