Hudson -- After the final snowflakes melt, some residents may be in a hurry to discard their winter coats, but the old one can be used by someone in town.
The Hudson League for Service, founded in 1947 in Hudson, is collecting warm winter coats for distribution next fall, said volunteer Jennifer McKinley. Approximately 50 coats were delivered April 15 to Martinizing Dry Cleaning for cleaning before the coats are donated to people in need in the Hudson school district.
This past winter while volunteering at the Hudson Food Pantry, the League for Service members saw residents collect food, but they didn't have a warm winter coat to wear when temperatures dropped below zero, she said.
The League for Service encourages residents to donate their winter coats this summer and fall with a goal of at least 200 coats, McKinley said. Every size is needed but especially adult larger sizes such as XXXL.
"People often don't realize the need for food and clothing donations in Hudson, but it is real, and growing," McKinley said. The economy, especially combined with a sudden job loss, an illness in the family, or an accident can turn people's lives upside down, McKinley said. Senior citizens and single parents struggle to make ends meet. If families are struggling to make house payments, feed the children and buy medication, a winter coat doesn't seem essential.
"There are families in Hudson who wear coats in the house and to bed because they keep the heat so low in the winter to save on energy costs," she said.
Martinizing Dry Cleaning, 118 W. Streetsboro Road, has generously volunteered to clean every coat donated, and members of the League for Service will make minor repairs.
Martinizing Dry Cleaning has used Hudson's original GreenEarth cleaning non-toxic cleaning process since 2007, said owner Craig Hons. Although Martining is a worldwide name, Craig and Matt Hons are the owners of the local store since 1995 and have 15 longtime employees with significant experience.
Hons said Martinizing is involved in the community and volunteers its services to several organizations each year. McKinley, a longtime customer, mentioned the coat drive during a conversation, and Hons volunteered to clean the coats for free.
Coats will be distributed through the Hudson Food Pantry located in Rejoice Lutheran Church, 7855 Stow Road in Hudson. Current food distribution times are every fourth Saturday with doors opening at noon and distribution from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Coat donations may be made at the vestibule of the Hudson Visitor Center on the upper level of the parking terrace, 89 First St., Suite 205, or coats may be given to any member of Hudson League for Service.
Monetary donations for this project may be sent to Hudson League for Service, Attn: Winter Coats P.O. Box 203 Hudson, OH 44236 with "Winter Coats" in the tag line. Money collected will be used to purchase coats in sizes that aren't donated.
More information is available at www.hudsonleagueforservice.org or Facebook.com/HudsonLFS.