It may have been a chilly February Saturday, but the volunteers of the Calvary Baptist Church Community Outreach Ministry did their best to make everyone feel warm. The event was Coats, Cookies & Cocoa, a winter clothing give-away for neighbors in need that also featured popular treats for the kids. In all, volunteers gave away 300 children’s coats, which were provided by Operation Warm, a national nonprofit.
“I got a little emotional,” says church member Sharona Hall, who organized the event. “Many kids came just wearing hoodies, and they were so excited to put on their new coats.”
In addition to the clothing, hot chocolate, Oreos and Famous Amos cookies, volunteers also had some teddy bears on hand to give away (thanks to a generous co-worker of Sharona’s) and a number of food boxes left over from another recent drive. The event was carefully organized so that only 10-20 people were on-site at a time and social distancing could be observed.
Sharona explains her inspiration for the give-away: “The pandemic has shifted my mindset to be more compassionate for people in need. I’ve done community service before, but when I saw the number of people losing jobs and really struggling, it shook me.”
She say she hopes that Coats, Cookies & Cocoa can become an annual event and looks forward to many other Community Outreach Ministry activities to come.