COPPERAS COVE — With temperatures dipping into the teens this weekend, the giveaway of free coats and blankets by a Cove church on Saturday could not have been more timely.
Nearly 500 coats, along with about 50 blankets and some clothing, were sorted by size and gender and piled on tables that lined the walls all the way around the fellowship hall at the Trinity Worship Center on Martin Luther King Drive.
Rebecca Lack, one of the church pastors, headed up the coat drive after speaking to Cove House and determining that there was a need in the community.
“We have had many people come in who were genuinely in need of a warm coat. They were very proud and we were blessed to serve them,” said Lack, adding that people responded well to the distribution.
Lack said people started contacting the church well ahead of Saturday when they found out about the coat distribution.
“You know there’s a need when you read about all the layoffs at Fort Hood and now there will be more,” she said.
The church did not turn anyone away and let people pick up coats during the week and allowed them to take as many coats as they needed.
Ramona Vegas of Copperas Cove picked up a couple of coats on Saturday.
“I called the church earlier this week about another need and the pastor encouraged me to come and get a warm coat,” Vegas said. She brought along a friend, Richard Spencer, who also got a couple of coats.
“I told him to come because I knew he didn’t have any coats,” Vegas said.
“Yes, I really needed them,” Spencer said.
Lack said that 20 volunteers like Ashley McCrae helped with the coat drive.
Ashley turned 17 on Saturday and chose to spend the day helping others.
“I wanted to give back and help the community. The gift on my birthday is to help someone else,” McCrae said. “We’re so blessed that we are able to give back to those that are less fortunate.”
Lack said the church will continue to provide coats after the weekend to anyone who asks.
Another coat drive is scheduled for February.