Coats for the Cold

By: Gordon Boyd
By: Gordon Boyd

The nights are getting colder and thanks to your help, hundreds of East Tennesseans will stay warm.

A brisk day with temperatures hovering around freezing.

"They've been coming in in T-shirts and just long sleeve shirts out there," volunteer Markham Gene said.

Searching for shelter, from winter's dangerous grip.

"Just to make sure they stay warm and don't get sick. That's the main thing's to keep them healthy and warm," said Kimberly Parker, who has three children who need coats.

With three kids to mind, Parker is both thankful and very aware of the importance of proper winter attire.

"They'd freeze and catch a cold everyday if they didn't have them," Parker said.

With around 900 coats to choose from, a volunteer's guidance makes the search a more favorable experience.

"They've been trying them on, you know, trying to find the warmest ones they can," Gene said.

"There are some through here that are obviously very needy and living on the streets. There are others who are just working poor," volunteer Norma Markhim said.

A helping hand, a perfect fit. Shane Ross's quest for a new life requires day labor work outside regardless of the temperature.

"Now I don't have to worry about getting a cold," Ross said.

A season's change may bring upon it a harsh reality, but thanksgiving and hope still spread their warmth.

"He only has one, so that's why I bring him today," one recipient said.

"Extremely thankful. Every little bit helps. Every little bit helps," Parker said.

"They're just little kids who need some help," Markhim said.

"Hopefully one day I'll have a place that I can actually sit down in a nice warm apartment or house. You know, call home," Ross said.

Nine-thousand total coats donated in Coats for Cold, 900 of them were available Saturday. The rest were not given out, but they are available through KARM's thrift store . Just call (865) 521-7766 for more information.


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