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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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