St. Jude Coat Drive benefits Emmaus

The annual coat drive at St. Jude Parish, in Erie, for Emmaus guests is always a success – but this year it was even better thanks to two innovative ideas.

First, thanks to a creative idea by St. Jude Catholic School 8th grader Charlie Rutkowski, there was an abundance of children’s winter coats. “Last year, I realized we didn’t have enough coats for children,” said Charlie, who has been helping to collect and organize coats and warm clothing for the past few years. “So this year, I talked to the principal at St. Jude and asked if we could offer a promotion for the students: donate a coat and have a dress down day.”

Second, the collection and organization of coats took place at Emmaus. In the past, coats were dropped off at St. Jude Church, sorted, packed up, driven over to Emmaus, and then re-sorted. It was always quite a morning of arranging! “Why didn’t we think of this earlier?” said Andrea Hallman, co-organizer of the annual drive with her friend and neighbor Kelley Glass. “This is so much better!”

The coats were distributed on Monday, November 13th during the food pantry hours. Guests of both the food pantry and soup kitchen came to collect warm clothes, coats, and blankets for the winter.

Read this story and more at Emmaus Ministries.

Pictured: Emmaus staff members holding their “favorite” item they found while sorting for the clothing drive.