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Hero Central: Giving coats to needy Saline Co. residents | News

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Hero Central: Giving coats to needy Saline Co. residents

The cool wet weather crept up on a lot of people this morning. Not everyone, though, has protection from the winter cold.

The Saline County Coat Closet stepped in Tuesday and gave away winter gear for free.

Anthony Felts finally found what he was looking for Tuesday.

"You see I'm wearing a nice leather jacket, it looks good. It's brand new and it still has the tag," says Felts.

About this time every year, Saline County residents donate winter gear to the Coat Closet. Those who can't afford a coat, like Summer Anderson comb through the racks for a free coat.   Anderson is not picky on the style or color.

"If it keeps me warm, I'm good with it," says Anderson.

The coat drive started in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit and victims needed coats. Organizers realized the need continues in Saline County.

"You know the little ones out grow their coats and folks wear them out and other folks come needing coats," says Organizer Linda Gilbert.

Gilbert estimates more than 200 coats will be distributed by the end of the day.

"The one young men says can I get one for my mom and daddy and myself. So you see, whole families need coats," says Gilbert.

"With taxes going up and I can't handle taxes between clothing and food taxes. It is making it difficult to pay rent and keep up with taxes to live," says Felts.

"We were excited because we went to a different place and didn't have coats and only clothes, but we needed coats," says Anderson.

Anderson and Felts hope they can help others by spreading the word about the coat closet.

"A friend of mine has six kids, I will tell him to come down here tell him to come down here. Six kids. It gets expensive," says Felts.

The Coat Closet is only for Saline County residents. It is sponsored by Arkansas Prosthetics and The Churches Joint Council on Human Needs. 

It is only open Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Gene Moss building at Tyndall Park in Benton.

Future donations can be dropped off at Arkansas Prosthetics.