Give your coats to a good cause - April Avison

It's beginning to finally feel a lot like winter around here.

As I walked around the McDonough Square on Saturday I noticed that everybody had on a warm winter coat. I got to thinking of my hallway closet that contains no less than a dozen coats – raincoats, heavy winter coats, hooded jackets, windbreakers, business suit jackets and more. But yet every winter when the weather turns cold I pull out the same brown J. Crew corduroy jacket that I bought at a garage sale a few years ago. The only exception I make is when I'm wearing something dressy or a black-shoes outfit, and then I substitute a heavy black winter coat that was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law.

I'm not a wealthy person, but yet I have a plethora of coats that hang in that hallway closet. I know I'm not going to wear most of them, but I keep hanging on to them. Some I've even had since high school.

You can imagine the guilt I felt when I remembered talking to Connecting Henry director Denese Rodgers last week about her work with needy families in the area. Denese is working to coordinate meals and Christmas presents for those who are unable to purchase them this year. While trying to arrange gifts for these needy families, many have told her, "All I really need is a warm coat."

That warm green coat that my mother bought me from Express when I was about 16 was the greatest item of clothing I'd ever owned. It was dark green with a plaid lining, and it was beautiful. My memory tells me that it cost $100. Whatever the cost, I do remember that it was to be treated with great care, as it was, at the time, the nicest thing I owned.

But over the years, that green coat has lost its luster. I tried once to sell it on eBay, but no one even entered a $1 bid. So it hangs there in my hallway closet with the others, while some woman somewhere is wishing they could keep her children warm.

I have made a pledge to myself to take that green coat – and several others – to my office today and later deliver it to Connecting Henry. I urge you to do the same.

I feel confident that someone who is reading this also has a green coat – or one like it – that you can give to someone who will actually use it. Please don't wait any longer. It's cold outside, and someone needs that coat.

To sponsor a needy family through Connecting Henry, please call (678) 583-3515.

April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at aavison@henryherald.com.