SEVIERVILLE (press release)—Winters can be really cold in Sevier County, so Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries steps in to warm things up a little.
SMARM’s annual Winter Coat Day will be held from 9 a.m.– noon Saturday, Dec. 12 at the agency’s Treasures From the Heart thrift store on Court Avenue in downtown Sevierville.
Everyone who comes by can pick out a coat for themselves and family members. There is no charge and no questions asked. The event is held rain or shine.
SMARM has held Winter Coat Day since 2002, giving away free winter garments to those who need them. SMARM expects to hand out 2,500 or more coats that day.
Donations of new or gently used coats and jackets—extra large sizes are especially in demand—are needed and appreciated and may be dropped off at Treasures From the Heart between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Be sure to tell the Treasures From the Heart staff that your items are for Winter Coat Day.
Those wanting to donate a large number of coats are asked to wait until the week of Winter Coat Day to bring them by, due to limited storage space.
In addition to coats and jackets, donations of scarves, hats and winter gloves are welcomed as well.
“We need all the donations we can get to meet the need,” Cindy Black, assistant director of SMARM, said. “This is a popular event, and we want to make sure everyone who needs a winter coat can find one in their size and take it home.”
Volunteers are sought during the week leading up to the event to sort the hundreds of jackets and coats donated for the event.
SMARM is a faith-based ministry that that provides one-on-one assessments and assistance with services such as short-term housing, utility assistance, transportation, food, and clothing. It was founded in 2001.
Winter Coat Day is always held on the same day as nearby First Baptist Church’s annual Christmas Store in which hundreds of area families receive Christmas food and gifts.
SMARM Executive Director Dick Wellons estimates the agency has given away more than 35,000 winter coats during the years it has held the event.
For more information on Winter Coat Day and volunteer opportunities visit smarm.org or call 908-3153.