Summit FIRC receives record coat donations
As a winter chill sets over Summit, individuals bundled in coats, mittens and scarves line the brightly lit streets. Still, every day Anita Overmyer sees people waiting at the bus stop outside of the Family and Intercultural Resource Center without a jacket.
“I’m always amazed every day, looking out the window, how many were waiting for a bus only wearing a fleece,” the FIRC development and volunteer director said.
Other days, people come in to the center’s food bank, often without the needed warm clothing. While the FIRC offers jackets at the monthly food bank, sometimes the demand outweighs the supply.
“On some of our cases, (families) are often asking for some kind of assistance,” FIRC program director Peter Bakken said.
This season, the FIRC has received record-numbers of donated coats, and new jackets are coming in as fast as they’re flying off the shelves.
“I’ve worked here for seven years,” Overmyer said. “I’ve never seen this many coats in one drive.”
The holiday giving kicked off with KSMT the Mountain’s annual food, coat and toy drive, which brought about 75 jackets to the FIRC and several toys to Advocates for Victims of Assault.
“They went fast,” she noted.
But the shelves didn’t stay empty for long. Later this month, two Keystone restaurants offered diners 50 percent off their bill if they donated a winter coat the weekends of Dec. 4-5 and 11-12.
Originally hoping to raise 200 coats, the Alpenglow Stube and Der Fondue Chessel, managed to bring in 362 jackets, more than double the amount they raised last year.
“The annual Outpost Dining Coat Drive provides a great opportunity for guests to give back to the local community during the holiday season while enjoying a fantastic discount at two of Keystone’s most unique mountain dining experiences,” Brian Haemmerle, general manager of the Outpost at Keystone said in a statement. “These will be supplied to local families in need here in Summit County, and we are more than happy to have met our goal of 200 coats donated.”
Another anonymous donor brought in 50 new jackets for children ages five and under through the FIRC Families United program. The donor had each jacket purchased in the correct size for each child, members of the in-home mentorship program for parents of young children.
“It’s helping make a difference, helping people stay warm,” Overmyer said. “It’s amazing to see how generous our community is.”
The FIRC also sells jackets at their two thrift stores, located in Breckenridge and Dillon. The jackets, while in good condition, are sold at a discounted price, with proceeds go directly back to the nonprofit.
For those looking to donate, the Silverthorne Recreation Center is currently conducting a coat drive. A drop-off bin will be available in the lobby through mid-January, and both new and used coats are accepted.
“We’ve got a fair number right here right now. I think we will go through them,” FIRC program director Peter Bakken said. “We might as well get the word out that we have them.”
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