Got outgrown coats? Donate them to kids in need

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Mamas, as you know, a lot of families in the area struggle to put food on the table and have a hard time covering basic needs. As their children grow out of their current coats year after year, it’s difficult for them to cover the cost of a new one.

To help with this, First Security Bank recently launched a coat drive to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Arkansas and Peace at Home Family Shelter – two of the area’s most essential outreach programs for youth and families.

Winter is fast approaching and now is the perfect time to clean out your closets and help others. First Security’s community coat drive is a great example of residents and businesses pitching in to help those in need!

You can donate coats at any Northwest First Security location now through the end of the year.

The collected coats will go a long way in meeting the expected demand that the approaching winter season will bring, according to Mandy Jayne, special events coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Benton County.

“Every year we have requests for coats from many families,” Jayne said. “Some of these families struggle to put food on the table and have a hard time covering basic needs. As their children grow out of their current coats year after year, it’s difficult for them to cover the cost of a new one.”

Judi Selle of Peace at Home Family Shelter agrees. “Families that we serve often have to leave their homes in the middle of the night with literally nothing,” Selle said. “When you are in fear of your life, a warm coat is the least of your worries – until winter is here – and then you don’t know how, when or where you will get one.”

This year alone Peace at Home Family Shelter has provided 5145 nights of safety for women and children fleeing domestic violence, safe shelter to 68 women and 102 children, and support services to 600 domestic violence survivors. In 2009, 62 women and 130 children received safe shelter, and 7963 hours of service were provided to a total of 936 domestic violence shelter and community survivors.

Both nonprofits hope to receive coats size newborn to 3XL, in a combination of female and male coats. Both gently used and new coats are being accepted.

“Winter is fast approaching,” said Jim Taylor, president and chief executive officer of First Security Bank. “Now is the perfect time to clean out your closets and help others.”

In the photo above: First Security Bank employees Crystal Ryan and Chris Abel sort through coats donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Arkansas and Peace at Home Shelter. Coats will be collected at all First Security banking centers throughout the end of the year. All sizes of coats are needed.

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