“We have always kept a supply of winter clothing for the people we serve,” says Kevin Alkenbrack, Executive Director, “But this is the first year we’ve done a big coat drive like this. It was wonderful to see how well the community responded.”
In all, more than 200 coats were donated and nearly half of them were distributed during the last two weeks of November. “We are grateful to the United Way for their support in promoting the coat drive,” says Alkenbrack. Morningstar will keep a supply of coats and other winter gear for urgent needs, but has partnered with sister agencies in Kingston who are prioritizing the extra coats for the homeless, and shelter residents.
“We also had an angel donor,” says Alkenbrack, “who bought more than a dozen brand new winter boots. Our clients were really happy with all the warm gear that was available to them this year.”
Alkenbrack is particularly appreciative of the young woman who helped to make the coat drive run so smoothly, “We couldn’t have done such an exceptional outreach program without our co-op student,” says Alkenbrack. Claire Wicklam, a twelfth grader from Napanee District Secondary School, joined Morningstar’s small but mighty staff team on November 17 and, among many duties, served as the Clothing Drive Coordinator.
“At the end of the day I always feel good,” says Wicklam about her work at Morningstar, which officially wraps up on December 11. “The day I started there was a young guy who came in with his social worker—he was really nice and he looked at a coat and it fit him perfectly and it was really great to see how happy that made him.”
Staff and volunteers at Morningstar want to give a shout-out to the Napanee Charitable Thrift Shop on Industrial Blvd. “The Thrift Shop loaned us some clothing carousels which made the sorting and display of all of those coats feasible.” All in all, it was another great team effort helping to serve the community when that service is needed most.