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Open the closet

Oct 24, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

You know there is an unused coat in there, and Coats for Folks needs it

One of our community's most-successful and best-utilized public service programs is nearing its critical point again. The annual Coats for Folks effort sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Riverton is ready to roll again -- and not a moment too soon, considering the early onset of winter weather in these first few weeks of fall.

Now, all the program needs is the contribution of warm outerwear from local citizens.

Participation could hardly be easier.

Step 1. Check your closet. Who among us doesn't have an unused winter garment of some sort hanging there, untouched and unwanted?

The program is called Coats for Folks, but it is happy enough to take a warm winter hat, a pair of mittens, or a wool scarf. Coats, of course, are still the centerpiece, and if the pockets have gloves or a hat inside, so much the better.

Step 2. Take that unused coat off the hanger and put it in the car seat next to you. Then look for a collection box.

It is hard not to see one of the Coats for Folks collection boxes around town. There are more than two dozen of them.

Step 3. When you see a collection box, put the coat in it.

Step 4. Congratulate yourself on having done a much-needed good deed.

The Kiwanians will take it from there, organizing the coat distribution project through a public invitation for any and all who need warm winter wear to come to St. Margaret's school gymnasium and take what they need, no questions asked.

But there is little time to spare.

On Friday, all the collection boxes will be gathered and taken to the gymnasium. If you haven't donated a garment by then, your offering could be for naught this year (although a coat offered on Saturday's distribution day wouldn't be turned down).

Winter is on the way. Heck, judging by the weather of the past three weeks, it might already be here. This is Wyoming, where the term "mild winter" is a highly relative one. There are people in need -- families with children, working men and women, elderly citizens and everything in between whose quality of life and sense of security and well-being could be improved greatly by that warm jacket that your children have outgrown or isn't in a color you like.

The coat for folks recipients don't care a thing about the history of the coat. They just need to stay warm this winter on the school bus, in the car on the way to work, walking to the post office or the store.

So throw open that closet door. Doing the right thing in this case is a snap.

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MAIL SUBSCRIBERS: Wednesday's edition of The Ranger was delivered to the Riverton post office at 3:15 p.m., in time to meet the postal deadline for next-day mail delivery.

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