Cashiers Rotary caps off record-breaking Winter Coat Drive

This winter, fewer of our Cashiers neighbors will face the cold unprepared. And it’s thanks entirely to the generosity of the greater Cashiers community.

Pictured at the top of the article: Cashiers Rotary drops off coats to Blue Ridge’s Comfort Room on Tuesday. From left are Erica Smithdeal, Blue Ridge School Social Worker; Tracie Metz, Blue Ridge Early College Principal; Steve Bucher, Cashiers Rotary Coat Drive Captain; John Barrow, Cashiers Rotary President; and Teri Walawender, Blue Ridge School Principal.

For more than ten years, the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley, in conjunction with the Interact Club at Blue Ridge Early College, has asked the community to donate new or gently used coats, jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves; and every year the community responds.

However, this year the community responded with perhaps its largest outpouring of generosity ever. Between Nov. 15, 2019 to Feb. 1, 2020, the club was able to distribute more than 500 coats and jackets to those in need.

The large number of donations allowed the club to reach more people than ever before by expanding the distribution network. Donations were distributed via the Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry, the Highlands-Cashiers Community Care Clinic, the Blue Ridge School Comfort Room, and other opportunities where the donations went to those who needed them most.

Rotarian and Coat Drive Chair Malice Grant thanked all those supporting the effort on behalf of the club.

“We’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to the many businesses that served as donation sites and to the Rotarians and Blue Ridge School students and staff that worked tirelessly to collect and sort the donations,” said Grant. “Our special thanks go to The Church of the Good Shepherd for their donation of more than twenty brand new kids’ coats and the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, who incorporated the drive into the annual Cashiers Christmas Parade. Most of all, though, the Club would like to thank you, the members of the community who contributed in any way to ensuring our neighbors are kept warm and dry this winter.”

The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley is a community service organization. Cashiers Rotary President John Barrow encourages the community to join its important work.

“We invite anyone interested in becoming a member or learning more about the club’s activities to attend a weekly meeting,” said Barrow. “Meetings take place Wednesday mornings from 8- 9 a.m. at the Cashiers United Methodist Church on Highway 107.”

Click HERE for more information on the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley.  

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