Submitted by Interfaith Coalition

Each year Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County hosts our Winter Coat Drive for anyone in need of a better coat for the cold months in Whatcom County. The local nonprofit collects and distributes 1,400+ new and in-great-condition winter coats of all sizes for children, teens, and adults of any gender. Coats are donated by businesses, congregations, and individuals and everyone is invited to donate. The annual outreach program has become a highly anticipated event, both by donors and by recipients.

One of the most important things to consider when donating a winter coat is that, if it isn’t brand new, it looks like it is. I often say, “Would you be happy giving the coat to your best friend?” If the answer is “no,” then it may not be good enough to give to someone who really needs it. We want everyone who picks out a coat to feel good when they’re wearing it.

For this year’s Winter Coat Drive, Interfaith Coalition has again partnered with Ridwell, the company that accepts hard-to-recycle items right at subscribers’ doorsteps. From October 2 – October 16, Ridwell subscribers have an easy way to donate to the Winter Coat Drive. The company will be accepting new and in-great-condition winter coats with their weekly pickups during those weeks in October. All coats that pass the “Would you be happy giving the coat to your best friend?” test will be given to Interfaith Coalition for our coat drive.

Ragfinery, the beloved local nonprofit that has made strides in reducing waste, is accepting winter coat donations on behalf of Interfaith Coalition. Coats can be donated until October 11 at their store at 1421 N Forest in Bellingham during business hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm. 

More than a dozen congregations around Whatcom County are holding their own coat drives to contribute to the outreach. United Way of Whatcom County has partnered with a handful of local businesses who want to provide a way for their employees to be involved in the Winter Coat Drive. Blue Skies for Children has also gotten in on the action and will donate dozens of coats from their own stock to ensure that even more people can walk away with a good coat this winter.

So what happens with all of these coats? Interfaith Coalition and our crew of dedicated volunteers will give a coat to anyone who wants one. Distributions will be at:

United Church of Ferndale: Oct. 13, 9 am – noon & Oct. 14, 3 pm – 6 pm

Bellingham Food Bank: Oct. 19, 2 pm – 6 pm & Oct. 21, 10 am – 2 pm

St. Peter’s Mission Church in Deming: October 27, 11 am – 5 pm

If there are any coats remaining after those distributions, Bellingham Community Meals and Hope House will receive them to continue giving coats to anyone who couldn’t make it to any of the distributions.

Interfaith Coalition invites everyone to donate at least one winter coat to their drive. Coats will be accepted until Tuesday, October 11.

The Winter Coat Distributions are free and open to the public.

Full details about donating and distribution for the Winter Coat Drive are on Interfaith Coalition’s website: https://www.interfaith-coalition.org/winter-coat-drive.

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