Thanks to the efforts of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce and area businesses, more people throughout Sampson County will be warmer this winter season.
The sixth annual Chamber Coat Closet drive, which began Nov. 1, concluded at the end of November. To date, according to Martin Jackson, Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce member, nearly 1,000 coats have been collected. But, he said, there are still more coats to be logged into collection.
During last year’s collection, the Chamber staff was able to collect 1,249 coats from the 30 collection sites. The coats are distributed throughout the county to those in need of warmth for the winter. According to Jackson, more than 6,300 coats have been collected over the last five years.
“Anytime we can help anybody out, in any way, with any amount,” Jackson added, “it’s a success. We are very fortunate people realize how important the gift of giving can be, even if it’s the gift of warmth.”
According to Jackson, president of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, coats are continually being purchased with funds the Chamber received through monetary donations and grants. The Chamber has received almost $9,000 to be used towards the purchase of the new coats. There is one more scheduled shopping day to purchase coats.
“We are currently in process of sorting, shopping and filling orders,” Jackson said.
Slated as the largest community service project done by the Clinton-Sampson Chamber, this project includes the collection of new and gently used coats in all sizes, ranging from infants to adults. These coats are then distributed to needy individuals. The Chamber is assisted in its distribution by the Sampson County Partnership for Children, UCare, Duplin County Partnership for Children, the Eastern Baptist Association, the Salemburg Food Bank and both Clinton City and Sampson County schools.
In addition to the partnerships the Chamber has with area organizations, there are several local businesses which help purchase coats by offering incentives to those who donate.
During the Chamber’s first coat drive, Jackson said there were 1,000 coats collected. Since that time, the number has more than doubled. Regardless of final numbers, he said the coat drive is a huge success.
“The first year, we collected and distributed over 1,000,” Jackson said. “We’ve had tremendous success, and we owe it all to the generosity of our local residents and local businesses. That being said, we encourage everyone to shop local and support your local businesses. Without the support of our local businesses and such a wonderful community, the Chamber’s Signature Coat Closet project would not be possible.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.