The Herald Bulletin

November 5, 2013

Editorial: Coats for Caring program always a worthy endeavor

The Herald Bulletin

---- — The chill is in the autumn air, and even a few snowflakes have fallen. For a majority of Madison County residents, we just turn on the heat in our homes, offices and vehicles to a level of comfort. We put on a heavier jacket to ward off the chill as we go about our daily lives.

As the season progresses and the temperatures stay below freezing, most of us just grumble about the inconveniences encountered in winter driving and the additional costs of heating our homes — and then we add another layer of clothing, or even go off to a warmer climate for the worst months.

But for many in our county, the onset of winter each year brings added worries. There’s not enough money left over in the family’s meager income to buy heavier coats for their children who have outgrown or worn out last year’s apparel.

That’s why Community Hospital Anderson’s annual Coats for Caring drive is a blessing for those low-income families and individuals. Since 2001, hundreds of Anderson residents have responded to the hospital’s plea to donate gently used or new children’s and adults’ coats to be cleaned and sorted for a one-day walk-in distribution. Best-Way Cleaners has been donating its service for this all these years.

This year — Coats for Caring’s 13th — most of the nearly 1,300 men, women and children who showed up at Park Place Community Center on Oct. 26 were able to find coats, hats and mittens to meet their needs. The many hospital employees who assisted the needy families and individuals with finding correct sizes remarked about the heart-warming smiles and expressions of gratitude from the recipients.

A simple act of kindness like this makes a difference, especially for the child who shivers while waiting for a school bus.

Residents can still drop off gently-used winter coats (no light-weight jackets) in a collection bin in Community Hospital’s front lobby on the last Friday of every month, or they can send check donations to Community Hospital Anderson Foundation, 1515 N. Madison Ave, Anderson, IN 46011.

Other programs are also in place to help Madison County residents. Saturday’s Operation Weatherization, for example, sent crews of United Way volunteers to help 85 low-income families get their homes ready for winter. Simple things like putting plastic sheets over windows, caulking cracks, adding water heater blankets and providing energy-efficient light bulbs.

The needs will increase as the weather worsens. Your single act of giving a coat, food, utility assistance, or volunteering time will go a long way to help.

To help Drop off gently-used winter coats at Community Hospital's main lobby or send donations to Community Hospital Anderson Foundation, 1515 N. Madison Ave., Anderson, IN 46011.