There is no greater comfort when it gets really cold in the winter than to know that a warm coat is available to keep warm. While some people take that option for granted, there are many others who are not as fortunate.
On Saturday, November 18, the Craig Valley Baptist Church seemed to hear that cry of people’s hearts in need of winter attire in Craig County. They opened their doors to anyone in need of a coat, hat, gloves or scarf. And, best of all…everything was free!
“Our missions committee had this idea of collecting coats and giving them out to our community for free,” church member Donna Francisco shared. “This is the first time we have done anything like this.”
Francisco, Teresa Craft, Ken and Carol Looney, along with other church members collected coats of all sizes, shapes and colors. People decided to add gloves, hats and scarves to the drive as well.
“One man stopped by and literally took his coat off his back and handed it to someone else,” Francisco explained. “He then stopped and prayed with our pastor in the parking lot…seeing that was a blessing to me.”
Doors opened at 9 a.m., and people came in, many surprised at the abundance of coats and winter apparel. “We collected approximately 300 coats,” Francisco said.
Carol Looney added, “I was overwhelmed at the turnout of donated coats we received.” There was no count of the many pieces of other winter apparel people could select from.
Many people came into a room full of answered prayers and seemed to enjoy the atmosphere of being able to select whatever they needed. The church also had fixed freshly brewed coffee for anyone to warm up with.
After the event concluded around 2 p.m., it was decided that about 50 coats had been given away, along with the other winter apparel. “Lots of people exclaimed, ‘oh what a blessing’ when they picked out their things,” Francisco shared. “We had moms, grandpas, uncles and single people come in and some stayed a little bit and enjoyed some fellowship and a fresh cup of coffee.”
Carol Looney shared that they were hoping for a bigger turnout as they wanted to see more families helped. “Still, it was such a blessing to serve!”
Some, who received a coat on Saturday, came to Craig Valley for the first time on Sunday morning.
“We are all called to serve others,” Ken Looney shared. He added that it feels good when people look out for others and go the extra mile.
There were many coats left, and the church decided to donate them to the Community Christmas store where they will be available again soon to residents in need.