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Salvation Army Coat Drive continues to warm local residents with support of Kiwanis

As the temperatures continue to drop, more and more local residents will be looking to the Tyrone Salvation Army and the efforts of the local Kiwanis Club to help warm them this holiday season.
The annual Used Coat and Boot Drive is continuing in Tyrone, and according to organizers, the community’s support has been unequivocal.
“I’m never done being amazed for what this community does for each other,” said Major Karen Garrett of the Salvation Army. “Without them, the Salvation Army and all its efforts would be nothing.”
Garrett said the annual Used Coat and Boot Drive began about five years ago, and since that time, the program has grown proportionately. Currently, there are about 200 coats that hang on racks at the Salvation Army’s Christmas House, located across from the Salvation Army’s Tyrone Headquarters on West Tenth Street.
Garrett said anyone – whether an infant, child, teenager or adult – who needs a winter coat, boots or gloves during the winter season can stop and pick something out at no charge. She said there will be no questions asked.
“I don’t ask for names, addresses or financial status,” said Garrett. “If you need a coat, you need a coat.”
Garrett said the Salvation Army is gladly accepting coat, boot and glove donations. Those items can be dropped off at the Christmas House, which is being generously donated by Snyder Township resident Rose Black, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
These are also the hours that the clothing articles can be picked up.
“Everything we have is pretty nice,” said Garrett. “That’s what we’re looking for also. We want winter coats and not spring jackets. They must be clean and in pretty good condition.
“We’re getting more and more requests for coats as the temperatures go down so we urge residents to look in their closets and see if they have any coats they aren’t using.”
Garrett praised the Kiwanis Club for the group’s annual “Used Coat and Boot Drive.”
“We have received a lot of coats already and many of these are for children,” explained Drive Chairperson Carol Anderson. She indicated that the drive will continue until next weekend with the final day set for Nov. 30. “Since it is getting colder, many families are beginning to get their winter coats out of storage. As you do so, if you find coats that are too small, please consider bringing them to one of our drop-off points to be distributed to others in need.”
Anderson and Garrett both expressed appreciation for the number of coats received during the recent “Stop and Drop Day.” More than 150 coats were brought to the truck when it was parked at the corner of Logan Avenue and 14th Street.
Garrett also noted a food distribution date for needy families in the area. She said on Dec. 16, the Salvation Army will be bagging food items and distributing these rations to families in need of a good, hearty meal during the holiday season.
“We’re expecting to provide a good meal for about – and this is a round figure – 200 families,” said Garrett. “Each of these bags will last each family for about a week, and hopefully because of them, these families will have the opportunity to enjoy a good Christmas dinner in 2002.”
Anderson said each bag will contain, at least, a turkey, real potatoes and vegetables. The food will be provided by BiLo and the Food Bank Center in Altoona.
Families must sign-up to be eligible for the food distribution. If you feel that your family is eligible, contact 684-0560.
Also, the Salvation has developed an Angel Tree in the Christmas House. This tree is decorated with small angels detailing a gift suggestion for children.
“We’re hoping that people will come in, select an angel off the tree and then use the printed suggestion to purchase a new toy for kids in this community,” said Anderson. These toys will also be distributed on Dec. 16.
“There was a woman in here (Monday) who bought 10 gifts for the children,” said Anderson.
Anderson said that if anyone would like to make a monetary contribution to the Salvation Army’s effort, they can be mailed to The Salvation Army, PO Box H, Tyrone, PA 16686.