Coats on Finlay returns to provide warmth to the Hat

·2 min read

The second annual Coats on Finlay winter coat and clothing donation event will take place Nov. 13 at Finlay Bridge in downtown Medicine Hat.

The event, first held on New Year’s Eve 2019, aims to provide Hatters in need with seasonally appropriate attire for the upcoming winter months.

Organizers Helen Snortland and Kym Porter tell the News the previous drive was “very successful,” with approximately 300 coats donated. They are hoping for an even higher number this year.

“We ask that as (Hatters) are going through their closets and getting out their warm attire, that if they have gently used adult or children’s coats … they set them aside and bring them down to Finlay Bridge (next) Saturday,” said Porter.

Everyone is invited to participate by either leaving a donation or taking what they need from the bridge at no cost.

“That was really important to us that there’s no cost involved for this,” Porter told the News.

“We want it to be available,” said Snortland. “Sometimes when you go into even the second-hand stores, things can be very expensive, especially at this time of year.”

Snortland and Porter believe there is great need in the community for such items.

“We have cold winters here,” said Snortland, “(There are) multiple costs to run a family and household (and) with prices going up and people out of work … This is just one way of helping out a little bit.”

While coats are the main focus of the drive, other winter attire – like snowpants, scarves, hats, gloves and mittens – will also be accepted. Any leftover items will be donated to local charities and outreach programs and distributed for free to individuals in need.

Anyone interested in donating is invited to hang their winter apparel on the bridge between the hours of 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and 9 a.m. Nov. 14.

“If they have a wire hanger, they can bring that with them (or) we have some available,” said Porter. “If they come and they also need a coat, they are more than welcome to try a coat on and take one home with them.”

Snortland and Porter are grateful for any donations, especially children’s coats and men’s coats in size XL, which they find are in high demand.

“This is a simple service that we can help organize,” said Porter. “There are so many things that people can do to help and this is just a small act of kindness.

“I believe that if you give a little bit of kindness in the world that can spread out and make a difference.”

KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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