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COVID-19 won't stop local group from collecting Koats for a Kause

Event comes as COVID-19 cancels the traditional Coats for Kids event

Having proper outerwear couldn't be more important as winter approaches quickly.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the community has the means to do so, leaving some unable to keep warm during the colder season.

Addiction and Mental Health Advocates is hoping to help out this winter by hosting Koats for a Kause, a winter clothing drive to aid the Sault's vulnerable populations.

“Addiction and Mental Health Advocates has been in existence for about a year now,” said Donna DeSimon, chairperson of Addiction and Mental Health Advocates. “We believe that addiction and mental health go hand in hand, so we formed a group to deal with the families of substance abusers and then we started helping the substance abusers themselves. We also help people with mental health disorders and the families of people with mental health disorders. It all goes hand in hand.”

Since Coats for Kids was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Addiction and Mental Health Advocates decided to step up and take the event over this year. The clothing drive will be held on Nov. 15 at the Union Building Ballroom at 68 Denis Street from 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.

“Coats for Kids used to help 70 families, and those 70 families are going without the help that they had last year, so we decided to take it over and do it. We have donation depots set up around town and we’re hoping to keep getting more stuff until Nov. 15,” DeSimon said. 

Donation depots are set up at 694 Third Line E, 642 Queen Street, Hair Razor’s on 817 Queen St. E, and CAT’s Bookkeeping & Tax Services on 467 Korah Road.

The drive will be collecting coats, boots, hats, scarves and warm blankets for the whole family, and they will be accepting all sizes. 

“Koats for a Kause will be helping out the vulnerable population in the Sault that doesn't have the money to go out and buy warm coats for everyone in their family. It will be for anybody that needs it, but mostly the vulnerable population,” DeSimon said. “There’s people walking around with flip flops on and shoes with the soles falling off, and it’s supposed to be a cold winter.” 

“If there’s any business owners out there that would like to donate anything other than coats, we’ll take donations of gift cards, coffee, or anything to make the day a little easier. We’ll be following social distancing guidelines on the day of the drive and we’ll have masks and hand sanitizer available there for anybody who needs it,” DeSimon said.

More information on Koats for a Kause can be found on the event’s Facebook page