Anna Coleman and her 14-year-old daughter, also named Anna, dig through plastic bags full of children’s coats.
“This is a cute one; this will go fast,” Anna, the mom, said as she pulls out a sports jacket.
Her daughter pulls out a smaller bag. “Oh, someone donated hats and mittens,” she said of her find.
The two Annas laugh and chat as they sort through piles of garments, deciding what should be dry-cleaned and what they can wash at home.
They will spend hours in the coming weeks sorting and cleaning as part of the Cozy Coats Drive run by the Ashland Baptist Church Westside Small Group. The Bible study group collects new and used children’s coats and donations, which are used to buy more garments.
“It’s fun to pick out little coats for kids,” the younger Anna said.
Inspiration for the coat drive came in January 2004, when Linda Halley, another woman in the Bible study group, saw two children in the Moser’s Discount Foods parking lot without jackets.
“I asked them where their coats were, and they said they didn’t have any,” Halley said.
The group distributed nearly 60 coats last year, the first time the Cozy Coats Drive was held.
“We don’t want them to be cold all winter long,” Anna the mom said.
Coats can be dropped off at both the church and inside Moser’s until Oct. 30. Then they will be in the church lobby on Nov. 6 and 7, and given to those in need on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Preferably, they’ll all be taken,” Anna the mom says. “That way, people can use them.”