How many coats do you have just hanging out at the back of your closet? Since they’re not keeping anyone warm there, why not consider donating them to the annual Algonquin Outfitters (AO) Coat Drive in support of local organizations?
The jackets stay in the communities where they are donated. In Huntsville, they go to The Table, while in Bracebridge it’s the United Church and in Haliburton it’s Sirch Community Services.
“A lot of people look in their closet, find a coat they haven’t worn in over a year, and decide ‘since I haven’t worn it, someone else can,” says Randy Mitson, AO’s Marketing Director. “Most often the jackets we get donated are in really good shape and well made from a lot of the brands that we carry.” Donated coats need to follow the three Ws: warm, wearable (with working zippers and no holes) and washed.
As added incentive, if you bring in a jacket donation to AO in November and buy yourself a new coat, you’ll receive a $50 gift card toward a future purchase. But you don’t have to take advantage of that offer if you don’t need a new one — sometimes the act of donating is warmth enough.
Last year, AO also donated sleeping bags to the men’s shelter before it opened and Mitson says the store will likely do another such donation in the future.
Heather Berg, CEO of The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation, says the donations are appreciated by both the charity and its guests.
“They know that the quality of coats that come our way from AO are fantastic,” says Berg. “They are first to be taken off the shelves. Our guests are very aware that the donations come from AO. It’s a very respected local company.”
Berg added that there is always a need and if people miss AO’s November Coat Drive, donations can still be dropped off at The Table in December and beyond on Tuesday through Friday from 10-3 and Saturdays from 10-1.
“Everybody needs warm coats,” says Berg. “People keep an eye on the donations and may upgrade to something warmer or that’s a better fit or something more to their liking later in the winter.”
She said that while all donations are appreciated, they have a particular need for quality kids’ coats and snow pants.
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