Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries will soon hold its annual Winter Coat Day and needs donations of new and gently used, clean coats and other winter outerwear.
The Winter Coat Day event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 at Treasures From the Heart thrift store on Court Avenue in downtown Sevierville. The agency expects to hand out more than 2,000 garments that day.
Donations of new or gently used coats are being accepted at the store. Many will be needed to meet the demand. Persons are asked to have used coats cleaned before donating them.
“This annual event offers a chance for everybody who needs a winter coat or jacket to get one,” SMARM Executive Director Dick Wellons said. “There is absolutely no cost to anyone. We welcome the opportunity to make sure nobody is cold this winter.”
Everyone who comes by can pick out a coat for themselves and family members. There is no charge, and no questions asked. The event is held rain or shine.
The Young Executives of Sevierville (YES), a part of the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce, helps with gathering coats and sorting them by sizes. Sevier County Bank and its branches are accepting coats for use on Winter Coat Day, and several clubs and organizations have or will put the word out to members to donate. The Sevierville Kiwanis Club, in conjunction with Food City Sevierville, has collected garments for Winter Coat Day for many years.
Several church organizations also have assisted with Winter Coat Day. SMARM welcomes others to join in to help this worthy cause.
SMARM has held Winter Coat Day since 2002.
Donations of new or gently used coats and jackets — extra large sizes are especially in demand —may be dropped off at Treasures From the Heart, 230 Court Avenue in Sevierville, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Be sure to tell the Treasures From the Heart staff that your items are for Winter Coat Day. SMARM asks that donors consider cleaning used coats first.
Those wanting to donate a large number of coats are asked to wait until the week of Winter Coat Day to bring them by, due to limited storage space.
In addition to coats and jackets, donations of scarves, hats and winter gloves are welcomed as well.
Volunteers are needed during the week leading up to the event to sort the hundreds of jackets and coats donated for the event.
SMARM is a faith-based ministry that that provides one-on-one assessments and assistance with services such as short-term housing, utility assistance, transportation, food, and clothing. It was founded in 2001.
Wellons estimates the agency has given away more than 40,000 winter coats during the years it has held the event.
For more information on Winter Coat Day and volunteer opportunities visit www.smarm.org or call 865-908-3153.