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The importance of a warm coat: Coats for Connecticut drive underway

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    GLASTONBURY, CT (WFSB) — Winter is coming, which means Channel 3 teamed up with Best Cleaners for the 11th annual Coats for Connecticut Drive.

Friday, fans can come down to Channel 3 on Capital Boulevard in Rocky Hill from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to make a donation.

The drive itself is at Best Cleaners locations and officially kicked off on Nov. 7 and runs through Nov. 23.

“It makes you just feel so good and just one small action of bringing in a coat can make a huge impact in an individual’s life,” said Margaret Wilcox, Watkins & Associates of William Ravis Real Estate.

Coats piled in just the first few hours of the drive.

Best Cleaners said it has collected nearly 100,000 coats over the years.

“It was really a natural fit for us,” said Shawn McCann, Best Cleaners. “It was a nice way to give back to the community. We can clean clothes relatively easily. What we do is clean clothes so taking people’s gently-used garments and making them like-new was a natural thing for us to do. It’s exciting and makes us feel pretty good.”

Organizers said anyone who cleans out their closets or has children who’ve outgrown their coats can donate them to the cause.

The coats can be brought to any Best Cleaners location. There are a dozen of them around the state.

Donors will find bins right inside the business.

Best Cleaners said they clean the coats and bring them to a local Salvation Army shelter. They’ll be used right here in Connecticut.

“People are so tremendously grateful,” said envoy Pat Wood, Salvation Army. “Just to see the gratitude on parents faces. Just to see the joy on a mom’s face when she can provide a coat for her child. The fact that they can come in and choose their own coat and little girls say ‘oh purple is my favorite color. I found a purple coat.’ It’s so gratifying to see that.”

Best Cleaners said the coats are always in high demand.

One donor in Glastonbury called that an important lesson for her children.

“We really like to show them that giving back to the community should be first priority in their lives,” said Keri Watkins, who dropped off coats earlier this month.

Best Cleaners has locations in Berlin, Bristol, Canton, Farmington/Unionville, Glastonbury, Middletown, North Haven, Old Lyme, Plainville, Rocky Hill, Simsbury and Windsor.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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