While many local residents donated to the Coats for Kids program, this year’s campaign was highlighted by an act of kindness from a visitor.
Beverley Marinello, who resides in Langley, B.C. and has a subscription to the Grand Forks Gazette, says she first saw mention of the program in a Coldwell Banker Border Country Realty ad and found the idea intriguing but never looked any further in past years.
She has made it sort of a tradition over the past few years to come to Grand Forks for the Remembrance Day ceremony with her husband and they own a house in the city.
“I would think about going shopping to pick up a coat or two before leaving for what I consider to be a very worthwhile endeavour,” she says.
“However, time always seemed very limited, and my plan never succeeded. Then I thought about shipping coats by Greyhound, but paying that fee would obviously mean fewer articles to donate. Another year gone by and another opportunity missed.”
She says she was determined to be proactive this year and contacted Coldwell Banker Border Country Realty and asked if it could shop on her behalf if she sent a cheque – and it happily obliged.
“After Christmas, I received a thank you card along with a picture of what they managed to purchase,” Marinello explains.
“I was so impressed that they would keep me as a long distance ‘partner’ during such a busy time of the year.”
Sharon Marshall, owner of Coldwell Banker Border Country Realty, says that she doesn’t often see people donating long distance.
“It’s the first time it’s ever happened,” Marshall explains.
“We’ve had other people go out and buy brand new coats in past years and bring them in and donate them but we’ve never had an out-of-towner do that.”
This past year was the 14th annual Coats for Kids program and it collects new and slightly used coats for needy people.
Marshall says that the program is successful every year and while she doesn’t have an exact number of coats donated, she says that they received rooms full of coats.
She says that the community is unfailing in its generosity and donates hundreds of coats each year.
Marhsall says that Mountain FM has helped sponsor the program the past two years and the Grand Forks Christian Centre has cooperated as well.
She says that the Grand Forks Hospital Auxiliary has also been a great help every year.
“We start getting donations of coats practically as soon as the last campaign is over,” Marshall went on to say.