SUMMERSIDE – The annual Coats for Kids campaign has found a new home as the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside prepares to go under major renovations.
“I was really worried for a while there that we weren’t going to be able to run the coat drive this year,” said organizer Sandra Gallagher.
“Last year was a very successful event and I’ve had a number of people reach out to me already this year about the annual campaign. But in the beginning, there was so much uncertainty. It’s something that’s really needed in the community.”
Gallagher, who has been in charge of the campaign for about eight years, found out a couple of weeks ago that its usual home, the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside, would be unavailable due to preparations for major renovations beginning in the coming weeks.
So, the hunt was on to find another location for the drive.
“We needed a place that would be centralized enough in the city so if people had to walk to it, they could.”
Enter the Summerside United Pentecostal Church, located on Pope Road.
“One of my volunteers actually was the one to set the wheels in motion to use this location for this year’s event, said Gallagher.
Immediately after hearing the need, Mary Noye, the community care operator with the church, approached the pastor of the parish asking if they could host the drive.
“We had just come off of a campaign for Operation Backpack. So, then I said to the congregation, ‘we’re going after coats next.’ I only meant it that we would collect and donate them, but now we also get the chance to help by hosting the event,” said Noye.
Pastor Sean Ward added, “We’re here to serve our community any way we can. We’re really happy that we can tell people that there will still be an event rather than ‘it’s cancelled.”
“Just knowing that the event is going forward is a relief to some.”
The 2018 installation of Coats for Kids is expected for Nov. 3 from 10:15 a.m. to about 2:15 p.m.
“We’re collecting items already. We’re looking for coats for kids and adults of all ages and sizes, as well as lots of hats and mitts. We can never get enough of those.”