By Paige Nash
The Minden Junior Service League Coat Drive is underway, and they are asking for the public’s help to make this year their biggest and best year to date.
“This will be our 4th year running the coat drive. Last year we were able to donate over 190. This year we are hoping to donate at least 250 with big hopes of filling a U-Haul one day,” said Elizabeth Campbell, member of the JSL and Coat Drive Chairman.
The Minden Police Department along with the Minden Police Association is teaming up again this year. You can bring your new or gently used coats to the Minden Police Department located at 520 Broadway Avenue or one of the other four local drop off sites, including Laura Horton: State Farm, B1 Bank, All Hours Fitness on Homer Road and Parish Design Co.
After donations are picked up, they are dropped off at Al-N-Way Cleaners who cleans all the coats free of charge. The JSL connects with Webster Parish School Liaison, Ursulla Hullaby, who gathers the coat sizes needed from Webster Parish school counselors.
“We go through our donated coats first to see if have what they need, if not, then we purchase a new one. Once all the coats have been cleaned, we hang them up by size and then by school. We add a label that will hopefully bring some cheer and we send them off to be distributed throughout the schools. We donate coats throughout Webster Parish which includes all the schools in Minden, as well as Doyline, Browning, Central and North Webster,” said Campbell.
A common question the JSL receives is, “What if I do not have any coats to donate?”
Last year the organization decided to create a daily challenge to raise funds. The community ended up donating over $1,100 in addition to the 11 bins full of coats. This year a Venmo QR code has been provided on the signs posted throughout the city and on the Minden JSL Facebook page for people who would prefer to donate money that will be spent on additional coats.
“We will still do a challenge week at the end of the month just for fun,” said Campbell.
This drive will take place throughout the month of October with the goal of having the donated coats and jackets distributed to the children in need before Thanksgiving break.