Collecting coats for refugees

Published 10:38 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Folks who are diving into the depths of their closets upon the onset of cold weather and finding coats that don’t fit anymore — or are just out of style — now have a good place to take them.

A group of Suffolk people is collecting coats, jackets and other winter items to take to Syracuse, N.Y., next weekend, dubbed “Operation Thanksgiving Blessing.”

A pastor from Suffolk, Ronnie Wyatt, went to Syracuse to plant a church after learning of a refugee neighborhood there, Suffolk man Red Barnes said.

Email newsletter signup

“Ronnie is serving a neighborhood that has 30 to 40 different nationalities, most of them refugees, who have come to this country with nothing more than the clothes on their back,” Barnes said. “For many of them, this will be their first winter, and some of them may not even have come from climates where it got cold.”

Barnes is leading the local collection effort and will be taking the items to New York in a 15-passenger van.

“Our plan is to load that thing up with coats and jackets and all,” Barnes said. “If anybody has any items, they certainly can donate jackets or any of the winter-type items.”

Barnes said the van will be packed next Wednesday night.

“If they can call me over the weekend, we can still make arrangements to get things picked up and take it with us,” he said.

For more information on how to drop off coats, call 871-4517.