Coats for Community drive looks to keep KFL&A warm for winter

Over 1,000 new or gently used pieces of winter outerwear were received through the United Way KFL&A’s 2022 Coats for Community drive, according to the organization. Photo via United Way KFL&A.

While the summer seemed to stretch well into autumn this year, temperatures are starting to drop which can only mean one thing: the colder weather of the Ontario winter is approaching.

One need only go outside around noon hour and then again at dusk to notice the sharp drops in temperature the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region are experiencing; forgetting to bring a jacket to work can leave one chilly as they leave work at the end of the day.

That means right now and in the coming months, many community members will rely on donated coats to help keep them warm, according to United Way KFL&A. As such, the local United Way is encouraging those in the community to help out once again, as they kick off their fourth annual coat drive.

The timing couldn’t be better, as many are beginning to change over their closets for winter. As those in the community do so, the United Way is asking residents to donate any clean, winter adult outerwear. These items can be new or gently used – the only requirement is that they are washable (so no leather or heavy wool), and in good condition, the United Way KFL&A said in a press release on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023.

“Last year, over 1,300 items were donated during the Coats for Community drive, and they went immediately to helping our community members in need. Thank you to all those who generously donated through the previous drives, our volunteers and partners who make this possible,” said John DiPaolo, President and CEO of the United Way KFL&A.

“I know that our caring and compassionate community will step up once again.”

A volunteer sorts through donations to the United Way KFL&A’s Coats for Community drive in 2022. Photo via United Way.

The United Way has worked with community partners to make donating as easy as possible. Drop-off bins for the Coats for Community drive will soon be available at the United Way office, Kingston City Hall, and at branches of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) and the Lennox and Addington Libraries. Additionally, bins will be set up at four Kingston Frontenacs home games! (See below for addresses and hours.) As donations are received, volunteers will sort and distribute coats to different service agencies through the KFL&A region, the United Way said.

For those who want to help but may not have items to donate, financial donations are also accepted and needed, the United Way said. Financial donations allow the organization to purchase coats for people who need specialty sizes, and to fill in any gaps in donations. Financial donations can be made at www.unitedwaykfla.ca/donate — donors are asked to indicate the donation is for the “Coat Drive” in the notes box. Alternatively, financial donations can be made over the phone by calling 613-542-2674.

“Winter coats can be costly. If you are living on a fixed income or in poverty, then it is nearly impossible to buy a new coat,” said Leigh Martins of Kingston Interval House, which is one of the local agencies that receives donated coats.

“Every year we have a lot of the people we serve reach out to us because they don’t have a warm coat to wear. The United Way coat drive allows this wonderful community to donate their gently used coats and our clients to stay warm in winter.” 

Donations for the Coats for Community drive can be dropped off in collection bins from Monday, Oct. 23 to Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, at the following locations:

Kingston

  • United Way KFL&A office
    417 Bagot Street
    Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • KFPL Central Branch
    130 Johnson Street
    Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
  • KFPL Isabel Turner Branch
    935 Gardiners Road
    Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Kingston City Hall
    216 Ontario Street
    Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Frontenac County

  • KFPL Sydenham Branch
    4412 Wheatley Street
    Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lennox and Addington County

  • Napanee Branch of Lennox and Addington Libraries
    25 River Road
    Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Amherstview Branch of Lennox and Addington Libraries
    Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kingston Frontenacs home games

Donation bins will be located just inside the main gate at the Leon’s Centre, where United Way volunteers will be on hand and also accepting monetary donations, on the following dates:

  • Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

More information, including a full list of the agencies that will receive winter clothing donations through the Coats for Community drive, can be found on the United Way KFL&A website.

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