Cache Valley’s Warm Winter Coat Drive continues through the end of December, providing new and gently-used coats, gloves, and hats to individuals and families in need. Now in its third year, the project is a partnership between the United Way of Cache Valley and Les Schwab Tires and benefits numerous area charities.
“We take coats to places like the Cache Community Food Pantry, CAPSA, the Family Place, the English Language Center, Centro de la Familia, and Bear River Head Start,” said Douglas Stephenson, United Way’s executive director. “It’s been a great opportunity to reach out to the local community, and our board has actually made this our service project for the year. I think a lot of people in this valley would be surprised to know of the needs that are out there. Being able to contribute in this way is a wonderful thing.”
Cache Valley’s Warm Winter Coat Drive was established in 2013 when two Les Schwab employees, Justin Brunson and Matt Campbell, noticed that multiple students at their own children’s schools did not seem to have adequate winter wear.
“I remember thinking, ‘I wish we could get something going to meet this need,’” said Brunson. “At first, Matt and I just looked at what we had and put together some coats from our homes, and then we started working with United Way. I like to think of it as a way of giving back.”
New this year, Les Schwab has added a toy drive to the project, benefiting Cache County Sub for Santa. Donations of coats and toys are being accepted at both Cache Valley Les Schwab locations and will be distributed by United Way. While the drives have been going well, there is still a need for additional community involvement.
“Another 50 coats would be super helpful,” said Chris Kiever, area assistant manager at the North Logan Les Schwab location. “But anything’s a win.”