Keeping People Warm This Winter

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SALLY HOGARTY
Kate Wiley and Cathy Goshorn sort through donated items during last year’s One Warm Coat drive.

    Most of us are fortunate to have nice warm coats and other clothing to keep us comfortable through the winter months. But, that is not the case for many living in the Bay Area. To help meet the need, The Orinda Association (OA) is participating in “One Warm Coat” for the third year.
    People can donate new or gently used, clean coats, ski jackets, rain coats, etc. in all sizes at the OA office, 26 Orinda Way, in the Library Plaza. Youth coats are especially needed.
    Based in San Francisco, the “One Warm Coat Project” has been in operation since 1992. The national organization supports over 3,000 coat drives each year. In its 23-year history, the organization has worked with volunteers to host over 27,000 coat drives and has given away more than five million coats.
    The Orinda Association collected over 165 coats benefiting Alameda County Social Services in its first year hosting One Warm Coat and another 165 coats last year that benefited Contra Costa County’s White Pony Express Free General Store. White Pony distributes adult and children’s clothing, toys and children’s books to those in need and also works to prevent homelessness by connecting people with the resources they need.
    “We have been very impressed with the good work that White Pony does for Contra Costa residents,” says OA member and project coordinator Kate Wiley. “They are well organized, and they make sure that the coats get to the people who really need them.”
    According to White Pony Express founder Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, many people in Contra Costa County need both food and clothing. The organization features three programs: Food Rescue, White Pony Inn and a Free General Store.
    This year the OA joins with two other local nonprofits – the Orinda Junior Women’s Club and Orinda Rotary – to collect even more coats.
    For more information on drop-off centers, call 925-254-0800 or go to www.orindaassociation.org. For more information on White Pony Express, go to www.whiteponyexpress.org.

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