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Featured Story Written by Breann Lujan-Halcon

Annual Coat Drive

Ivinson's Engineering department prepares for their annual coat drive with help from Ivinson's Ambassadors.

This year marks the 8th Annu­al Coat Dri­ve, orga­nized by Ivinson’s Engi­neer­ing department. 

Every win­ter since 2011, the engi­neer­ing depart­ment has col­lect­ed coats at Ivin­son to donate to those in our com­mu­ni­ty that could use some warmth.

In 2011, a fam­i­ly from Flori­da was trav­el­ling through Wyoming, when a car acci­dent brought them to Ivin­son Memo­r­i­al Hospital’s Emer­gency Depart­ment. Dev­as­tat­ed, the fam­i­ly had no place to stay and com­ing from a humid, trop­i­cal cli­mate- the fam­i­ly was not equipped for the win­ter weath­er in Wyoming. With­out miss­ing a beat, Ivinson’s emer­gency depart­ment went into action, and made sure the fam­i­ly was fed, shel­tered and warm.

Elec­tri­cian, Paul Wright recalls what inspired the dri­ve Emer­gency depart­ment staff had talked about help­ing out a fam­i­ly in the ER. The next morn­ing we talked, they had called Inter­faith. Inter­faith had fixed them up with some coats, found them a place to stay for the night and meal vouchers.”

Inter­faith-Good Samar­i­tan has been assist­ing Albany Coun­ty since its launch in 1988. Inter­faith pro­vides ser­vices such as emer­gency shel­ter, util­i­ty and rent assis­tance, a food pantry and oth­er means of aid to those that need it. Inter­faith is a non-prof­it that relies on dona­tions in order to con­tin­ue their work help­ing our neigh­bors in need. 

When I talked to Inter­faith and found out that they give out between 1,200 to 1,500 coats every year to peo­ple that need them, I thought that might be a worth­while cause and we tried it for one year and got over 100 coats,” Paul said.

Last year, Ivin­son col­lect­ed 159 coats, 23 hats, 13 pairs of gloves, 12 scarves and two pairs of over­alls. Over the years, the engi­neer­ing depart­ment has col­lect­ed and donat­ed hun­dreds of coats but their best year was in 2017, they col­lect­ed and donat­ed over 215 coats back to the community.

Paul cred­its the entire Engi­neer­ing depart­ment for keep­ing the coat dri­ve alive and well. Office Coor­di­na­tor Lau­ra Abell helped them pull togeth­er dona­tion box­es and make posters the first year, and for­mer main­te­nance engi­neer Rich Rodriguez had stepped in to drop off dona­tions when Paul was unable to himself. 

This year, with the help of Ivinson’s Ambas­sadors, there will be addi­tion­al dona­tion sites with new dona­tion rec­i­p­ro­cals. Ivin­son hopes to col­lect anoth­er record break­ing high num­ber of coats, hats, scarves, gloves and oth­er cold weath­er gear.

Are you clear­ing out your clos­et before Christ­mas, or doing some ear­ly spring clean­ing? Donate those coats and cold weath­er gear right here at Ivin­son. Dona­tion box­es will be locat­ed at main entrances through­out the hos­pi­tal into the spring. Thank you to Paul Wright and the Engi­neer­ing depart­ment for your hard work towards this cause, year after year.

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