Springfield organizations work to provide coats to those in need

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On these cold days you want to bundle up before you head out the door, but some people in our community don’t have that luxury.

However, that’s the problem coat drives in our area are trying to solve, like Car-Fi which has been holding a coat drive for four years.

The organizer, Reba Brew, says her son used to be homeless, and that made her want to help others, like William Johnson.

Johnson travels a lot for his job.

“From here to Ozark and I work sometimes there and sometimes here,” Johnson said. “And, I can stay with some friends but not for a long, long period. But enough to get a job done and get a little some of that paycheck and move on. It’s my first actual taste of being semi-homeless.”

The 73-year-old works part-time as a carpenter.

“At my age it’s hard, at this condition I’m in,” Johnson said.

Fortunately, Car-Fi’s coat drive made his situation a bit easier.

“This is going to enable me to work outside on some of the jobs I have to do,” Johnson said.

Outside Brew’s shop, you can either drop off or pick up a hat, scarf or coat.

“We’re just feeling a lot of kindness from people,” Brew said. “I think it really gives them a sense of meaning to be able to drop by here and see what we’re doing. They’re seeing good works in action out here on the street.”

People can stop by her coat drive at any time.

“Just coming out here every day and putting things on the rack, I understand how cold it is out here,” Brew said. “We want to encourage, really want to encourage other businesses to take this on. It’s not a lot of work. It is so helpful in your neighborhood and in your community.”

Another business doing something similar is Vogue Cleaners.

“We’re doing a drive for socks and blankets and quilts and coats and backpacks for the Connecting Grounds and for the Rare Breed,” Kim Smith the drive organizer for Vogue Cleaners said.

Smith says it’s been very successful.

“It feels great because I mean I want to give back to the community,” Smith said. “They do so much for everybody around here. Those that don’t have a home especially with the crisis going on, they need a lot of help and I just wanted to help them.”

Vogue Cleaners takes donations during business hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

At Car-Fi, it accepts donations and pickups at any time.

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