Faith In Action Launches ‘Community Coats’

Fargo TV station KVLY’s Coats for Kids program, which supplied winter coats for children in need during the early fall months, has ended after a 25-year run and 11 years of operation in Valley City.

However, due to Mercy Hospital’s Faith In Action and some local volunteers, Valley City kids – and now adults – will not have to go cold this winter.

Faith In Action Community Coats will offer donated coats at the old St. Paul’s Church on Fourth Street in southwest Valley City tentatively on Friday, Oct. 5, Saturday, Oct. 6, or both days.

FIA’s role in the KVLY coat giveaway used to be just limited to distribution, with all the donated coats collected and cleaned by the TV station.

“Now we have to get the coats, wash the coats and distribute them,” said FIA director Vicki Grafing.

Grafing said the Essentia Health Clinic on East Main Street will serve as the collection point beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4. Coats will be collected throughout the month. The Legacy Place in northwest Valley City has offered the group free use of it’s laundry machines to clean the coats before they are given away.

“If anybody has any coats that they need dropped off before or after clinic hours, if some people can’t make it when the clinic’s open call my office number 845-6491, and if anyone wants to volunteer for the project, call me,” Grafing said.

FIA also sponsors the Community Closet at the Grace Free Lutheran Church on West Main Street in Valley City, usually on the third Saturday of the month. Grafing said the recent opening on Saturday was one of the bigger turnouts the Closet has seen since it began in December, 2010, second only to a rush on summer clothes back in May. While the closet is usually well stocked, there are needs for more items than others.

“We do have some great needs for bedding; once bedding comes in it’s gone again. When towels come in, they’re gone again. Socks, little boys clothing, gosh I would say all boys clothing, we can’t keep in stock either, so those are the greatest needs that the closet has,” Grafing said.

Donations to the Community Closet are accepted on the morning of the Closet’s opening, or arrangements can be made to drop off items by contacting the FIA office.