Once again, it’s the time of year when locals are asked to donate their slightly-used clothing for the Winter Coat Drive, so that youths of all income levels can enjoy winter sports.
The coat drive is part of the Park City Christian Center Operation Hope. Pete Stoughten, from the Center, and Heather Sims, from the Youth Sports Alliance, visited KPCW to explain the purpose of the program, and to mention their other partners in the effort.
“Our goal this year is to make sure every kid in Park City and in Summit County who is free and reduced lunch has a new or like new winter jacket” Stoughten said.
“So, we’re looking to actually clothe about 1,500 kids which is a big deal. Especially for our programs, so this year and last year has been a major collaboration of all the organizations in town including SOS and Park City Community Foundation as well as the Christian Center and YSA. The reason is many of the organizations were doing their own winter clothing drive. We came together and decided let’s put it all together and work together to make sure that every kid that needs a jacket or snow pants has it. Especially for my programs and SOS where kids are skiing and they really need those extra warm clothing.”
Stoughten and Sims said they’ve been working together on the coat drive for about three years.
Last year, they clothed nearly 1,000 kids and this year are aiming to help about 1,500. The drive is asking for donations from hats to boots. Sims says they’re accepting used clothes for youths of all ages, from newborns to high schoolers.
“Anybody that has slightly used clothing that their kids have grown out of. We would love to have them donate to the Christian Center as long as they say, ‘this is for operation hope’. The other thing is that we have boxes in all the schools where people can donate their gently used clothing. We’re looking for underlayers we’re looking for outer layers we’re looking for goggle, gloves. It’s really hard when we get kids who have jackets on the mountain and then they turn up in wool gloves that are not suitable. So gloves is another thing that we are collecting.”
They’re inviting financial donations, whether from businesses or individuals. Or if parents find a good deal buying new clothes for their children, perhaps they can buy an extra pair of gloves.
Stoughten said a couple of important dates are coming up for the drive.
“We are doing Operation Hope sign-ups and that’s when we are going to set up a massive coat store for the families at the Christian Center October 29th and 30th. If for some reason we don’t have enough jackets we will have jackets available at Operation Hope on December 19th for the families and the kids and we’ll be able to identify who was not able to get a jacket at that time.”