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Coats For Kids project collects winter clothing

Mackenzie Hengerer and Bronwyn Collins display items donated to the Coats For Kids project. The collection box is in the main lobby of Structural Truss Systems at 443 12th St. Fort Macleod. Photo by Jessica Neudorf.

Fort Macleod residents are rallying to make sure children stay warm this winter.
The Coats For Kids initiative was started by a committee at Structural Truss-Forma Steel and IF Solutions.
“Many families continue to deal with rising living expenses and simply don’t have the means to purchase the clothing needed to stay warm during Alberta’s harsh winters,” explained Mackenzie Hengerer, personnel and recruitment officer for the companies. “Without adequate winter clothing, anyone can have a difficult time reaching their full potential.”
“Everyone in our community deserves the gift of warmth.”
The employee committee saw a need for the Coats For Kids initiative after the Salvation Army closed its thrift store in Fort Macleod.
The committee decided to collect winter clothing and gear for people of all ages, with a focus on children’s items for toddlers to teenagers.
The initiative was also sparked in part by a decrease in clothing donations for the annual Back to School Connect event in August, which has a free clothing exchange.
“We accept clean, gently used, outgrown or new winter outwear for men, women and children,” Hengerer noted.
The items accepted in the coats for Kids initiative include:
• Men’s winter coats.
• Women’s winter coats.
• Children’s winter coats.
• Toques, mitts and scarves in adult and children’s sizes. Handmade items are acceptable.
• Snow pants in adult and children’s sizes.
• Winter boots.
Items can be dropped off in the main lobby of Structural Truss Systems at 443 12th St. Fort Macleod.
“If someone would like to make a monetary donation we will gladly purchase winter gear to meet specific requests,” Hengerer added. “For example, if we don’t get enough of a specific item, such as children’s winter coats, we would use a monetary donation to try to fill that gap.”
Coats For Kids is intended to meet the needs of people living in Fort Macleod and district.
“We want to ensure this gear stays local,” Hengerer stressed. “We will be working with the school systems, local resource centers, and Kids First to ensure these items stay local, help local and remain in the collection for the next Back to School Connect event.”

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