McCOOK, Nebraska -- Anyone with a need to dress warmly this winter is invited to come shopping free of charge at the annual "Coat Closet and Winter Clothing Give-Away today until 7 p.m., Thursday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Friday, from 8 a.m. until noon, at McCook, Nebraska's Memorial Auditorium at West Fifth and C streets.
Students from McCook Public Schools' LIFT alternative education program and community volunteers counted 1,483 new and gently used coats by mid-afternoon Tuesday, before the distribution started this morning.
Margaret Trail Nielsen of Lexington, formerly of McCook, knitted, crocheted and donated caps and scarves, and McCook Walmart donated warm hats, caps, gloves and mittens. Horse Creek Inn donated pillows and Peace Lutheran Church donated blankets.
Quilting clubs have made and donated full-size and baby quilts.
A selection of new coats for children was made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor and by a donation from the McCook Eagles Club.
Coat Closet coordinator Barb Ostrum said she greatly appreciated the loan of a box truck from Whitaker Furniture to move clothing racks and tables from storage and donated coats from her downtown office.
The Coat Closet project is made possible by Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, the City of McCook, supporters from throughout McCook and Southwest Nebraska and an invaluable corps of volunteers, Ostrum said.