THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) –Winter may be the last thing on your mind with temperatures still in the nineties, but a Thomas County Outreach center is planning ahead to make sure they'll have plenty of coats and blankets for the less fortunate when those temperatures drop.
Every day, people begin waiting hours in advance for the doors at the Thomas County Food Bank and Outreach Center to open.
"They're out of a job, their job has been terminated or they can't find a job," explains the center's president, Maryline Smith. "Last week we had fifteen new families that needed food."
"It helps out a lot because sometimes you only get paid once a month and things are so high now. Things are hard," says Morris Bell, one of the center's clients.
And pretty soon, people will be waiting in line for more than just food.
"When they give out coats and blankets, it helps, I know because I've gotten them," Bell explains. "I get them every year."
"We started this just as a side thing with the food bank because we realized people needed it," says Smith.
Although participation in the Outreach program is based on a person's income, the more than 2000 coats and blankets the organization gives out are free to recipients.
"In these economic times, they may not have the money to buy a coat and especially for the children," Smith tells us. "Children outgrow their coats. And they need a new coat most every year. And this is really important because children need coats."
"Right now you really don't need them. Cause right now it still feels like summertime. But when winter gets here, you're gonna need them," Bell assures people.
As soon as the winter is over, the Outreach Center starts taking in coats and blankets for the next year.
"We're busy here," Smith says. "We've always had and still need the support of donations. People have been wonderful in the past and that's why we're still here."
"If I had something to donate, I would," says Bell, "Because you never know when you might be on the receiving end of a helping hand."
The Thomas County Food Bank and Outreach Center's coat closet will be open from October 1st till the end of the year.
For more information on how to donate coats and blankets, call (229) 226-0840.