26th Annual Share the Warmth Coat Drive Kicked Off

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The line for free coats wrapped around the Salvation Army building this morning for the Share the Warmth coat drive.

Some even lined up at 6:30 a.m. to make sure they got their pick of the donated coats the Salvation Army and Scotch Cleaners gathered.

Each person had their choice of a coat, jacket, hat and scarf - all donated by Topekans wanting to lend a hand.

The 26th annual coat distribution had a successful turn-out, as it does every year.

More than a thousand people came through just in the first few hours.

The coat drive has been a driving force in Topeka, making sure no one is cold this winter.

It means a lot for the people receiving the outerwear and the people providing it.

"Me and my kids can really use some coats for the wintertime," Elisha Benham said. "This really helps for us. We get excited because we get to come out and get a coat and we can be warm for the winter."

James Hill got a coat today and said it's wonderful that people donated.
"I think people who donated did a great job. Always be a person to give back."

Dan Burris, the Core Officer at the Topeka Salvation Army said putting on drives like this one makes life worth living.

"It makes you feel good because you're able to help somebody. You're not pushing your neighbor down, you're giving them a hand and you're helping them out," he said. "Everybody working together is a tremendous thing."

The coat drive went from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Over the years Scotch has collected and cleaned more than 220,000 coats in Topeka and Lawrence.

This year they collected almolst 6,000 coats in Topeka.