CANHelp coat and blanket drive kicks off Thursday

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct 31, 2007 - The cooler months of the year can be a tough time for many, especially those already struggling to get by. But for those in need in Hopkins County, help is available.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

CANHelp staff and interns sort through coats and blankets Tuesday as they organize the Annual Winter Coat and Blanket Drive. Pictured left to right are Trisha Lee, Katrina Watkins, Deborah Dodson, Susan Lopez, Beverly Morrison, Candice Wilks, Dana Gilbreath and Dawn Sheffield.

In fact, that’s the whole mission of one group — helping others. In that light, Hopkins County Community Action Network, acting under the CANHelp name, each year hosts a coat and blanket drive to help those in need.

The Annual Winter Coat and Blanket Drive begins Nov. 1 at the CANHelp office, 525 Church St. Not only can people begin requesting coats on that day, donations will also be accepted at the CANHelp office beginning Thursday as well.

Coat and blanket donations will be collected through Nov. 16. All donations should be in good repair, laundered or dry cleaned and ready to wear.

Donations may be dropped off Mondays-Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

If those times aren’t convenient, potential donors can call 903-885-9797 to make arrangements for staff to be available at other times to receive donations as possible.

While there are still a number of items available due to the unusual number of warm day last year resulting in less need for coats, coats and blankets are still needed to support this year’s distribution. Adult sizes large and up, and specialty sizes such as tall, are always needed, as well as children’s coats.

Those who have received coatsfor their children from CANHelp during a previous drive are also encouraged to donated the outgrown items back to CANHelp.

�It�s special to us and special to them too,�CANHelp Executive Director� Dawn Sheffield said Tuesday afternoon. "This is a way they can give back. If they want to exchange a coat they�ve gotten for us that�s still in good condition and they�ve outgrown, we will be glad to do that to that, as well."

As for blankets, bedding-sized blankets such as twin, queen, king, regular, are preferred, as they are better suited to help keep people warm through the night. However, throws and other, similar items will be accepted.

Individuals needing coats may stop by the CANHelp office Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The office will be closed Nov. 22-23 to allow CANHelp staff to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. Coats will continue to be available through warmer weather months, provided coat supplies last.

Those seeking coats should note that each person requesting a coat must be present to receive one.

For more information, call 903-885-9797.

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