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Coats for Kids effort underway

It may be unseasonably warm outside right now, but one local merchant is hoping people remember it is winter, it will be cold again, and there are people in the community in need of winter coats.

Lee Lawson, owner of Zibby’s Cleaners in Mount Airy, is again running her annual Coats For Kids campaign, trying to collect winter coats and jackets for area youth who might not otherwise be able to afford one.

“The warm weather hurts — normally over the years, we’ve collected up to 800 to 1,000. But this year’s really slow,” Lawson said Monday of the annual program that got off the ground this winter around the first of December. “We haven’t collected as many, but we’re still collecting a lot of coats,” she said.

Lawson has been running the campaign (once known as Give A Kid A Coat) since she began at the Mount Airy location nine years ago.

She explained that when someone brings in a coat, she cleans it, then turns it over to the Salvation Army, so the folks there can get it into the hands of an area child or youth who might need it. While the campaign is call Coats for Kids, Lawson said she doesn’t turn anything away, even if it’s adult-sized.

“Everyone needs a coat,” she said, and the Salvation Army can get those into the hands of needy adults, too.

And not all the coats she gets are “gently used.”

“I had one person who had actually had gone out and bought six new ones and donated them,” she said. “I do have people who will buy a new coat every year and donate that. There are some nice people out there.”

In addition to collecting coats from individual donors, Lawson said she works with the Mount Airy and Surry County Schools systems, with student groups in many of the schools holding coat drives, then bringing the coats to her store for the effort.

Lawson said she expects to keep accepting donations probably through about mid-February. “I think it’s going to get colder in late January, into February,” she said, adding that the need will still be there when the unseasonably warm weather passes.

For those wanting to give a coat to the effort, she said it’s fairly easy.

“Just bring them here to the store during my business hours, bring them in trash bags or just hand them to us. … Just bring them by here during our regular hours, 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.”

Zibby’s Cleaners is at 712 N. South St. in Mount Airy.

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North Surry High School’s Spanish Club drops off more than 100 coats at Zibby’s Cleaners as part of the annual Coats For Kids campaign in this picture taken a few years ago. Photographed here are, front row, from left, Emily Harrison, Amy Cockerham, Katherine Parsons, Rebecca Parsons and Cassie Kruper; back row, Kenya Cope, Ashley Wallace and Zibby’s Lee Lawson.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_0JAL1463_filtered.jpgNorth Surry High School’s Spanish Club drops off more than 100 coats at Zibby’s Cleaners as part of the annual Coats For Kids campaign in this picture taken a few years ago. Photographed here are, front row, from left, Emily Harrison, Amy Cockerham, Katherine Parsons, Rebecca Parsons and Cassie Kruper; back row, Kenya Cope, Ashley Wallace and Zibby’s Lee Lawson. Jeff Linville | Mount Airy News

By John Peters

jpeters@mtairynews.com

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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