Local businesses are rallying together to help those without a good winter this coat this year, stay protected in the cold.
"I know we live in a place where our winters are harsh and their cold and just the thought of anyone, whether it's a child, an adult or anyone having to bear our winters without proper outdoor gear, it just breaks my heart," Anna Smith, Managing Partner for Signature Party Rentals, told BYU-Idaho Radio. "Just the idea that through something rather simple for us, that we can really impact someone's life through something as simple as a good winter coat, it makes us happy to be part of this community and happy to give back."
The effort is called "Coats for Kids," and enables anyone with a spare winter coat for children or adults, to donate it and have it cleaned for its next owner - free of charge.
"As a family business, D&L Cleaners decided about 10 years ago that they wanted to provide a service for the community, because they already had the facilities to professionally clean these winter coats, that they would have the community donate the coats to them, they would clean them and make sure that they were in good working order," Smith said. "Then we donate them to charities, organizations, schools, families, anyone in the community who is in need of a winter coat."
Since then thousands have found themselves a little warmer thanks to the charity of an unknown donor.
"We've had literally thousands of coats donated almost every season," Smith said. "We have a couple organizations that have reached out to us to ask if they could receive coats through our program and we clean them and then call them," Smith said.
Smith says the program has been so successful that last year they had a surplus of coats.
"We would love this year to not have a surplus," Smith said. "We would love to get the word out, so that if there are schools, maybe counselors, or teachers, or you know, that know of children that need something, that they could reach out to us and that we could get those coats in the hands of people that need them."
Anyone who needs a winter coat or knows someone in need, Smith says, should call ahead or go the D&L Cleaners in Idaho Falls and ask.
You can listen to the full interview below.