Coat drive makes final push

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In its final weeks, the FWDG Coat Drive is pushing to hit 4,500 coats and jackets for Beaufort County families — with hopes that after-Christmas contributions will make this winter a bit warmer for needy families.
Now in its 21st year, the FWDG Coat Drive traditionally sees a bounce in donations immediately after the holidays as families “recycle” older outerwear after people receive new coats and jackets as gifts, said FWDG President Larry Mark.
Over the past two decades, FWDG founders Larry and Robyn Mark have shared more than 37,000 gently-used coats with Beaufort County families in need.   FWDG has once again chosen HELP of Beaufort, Bluffton Self Help and the Deep Well Project on Hilton Head to distribute the donations to families in need.
Jackets, coats and sweaters can be dropped off at local collection sites through Dec. 31.
“In these tough economic times, there are more and more local families who need help, and that includes help keeping warm through the winter,” said Mark, president of Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery.
“Recycling jackets, coats and sweaters is good for our environment, but more importantly, it’s good for our community. The economy has put thousands of families in a position where a used coat or jacket can make a big difference in being comfortable this winter,” he said.
Already, students and families at schools in Beaufort, Seabrook, Bluffton and Hilton Head contributed hundreds of jackets and coats — with Beaufort Middle School alone collecting about 150.
Donations can be dropped off now through Dec. 31 at these locations:
• FWDG, Perimeter Walk, 745 Robert Smalls Parkway, Beaufort
• Beaufort County BB&T branch offices at Beaufort, 95 Port Republic St. and Lady’s Island, 1 Kemmerlin Lane
• Carolina Stamper, 203A Carteret Street, downtown Beaufort
• Omni Health & Fitness, Boundary Street behind Outback.