Faith in Action Picks Up Coats for Kids

After hearing the news that after 25 years there would no longer be Coats for Kids Project in the Red River Valley, Faith in Action’s advisory board knew they needed to keep this project going locally.

“Through the partnership with Essentia Health Clinic and local physician and businessman Paul Diegel, we are assured it will happen,” said Faith In Action director Vicki Grafing in a release.

Diegel said Monday he was happy to help, providing space at the former St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Fourth Street Southwest. Diegel said he purchased the former church building thinking it would provide office space for his businesses, and discovered Faith in Action was in need of space.

Diegel said he was surprised the program didn’t have a sponsor for this year, “and we wanted to keep the program. Faith in Action needs that space.”

Diegel said Legacy Place has been involved in Coats for Kids in the past “The Legacy Place was a gathering place last fall. Last year we sent coats out to reservation kids – we want to make it more local this year.”
Diegel said Grafing and other Faith In Action board members asked if he could help with the program this year. “Tamie Gernholtz works at Legacy Place and is on the Faith In Action board.”

Grafing said this year’s Coats for Kids Project has “two convenient drop off locations: Essentia Health Clinic lobby and Mercy Hospital lobby.
Said Grafing, “I am so thankful for these two businesses stepping up to the plate to be in charge of the drop off zones. We also have two dedicated volunteers that will be picking up coats and bringing them to storage until the distribution date. It really does take a whole community to come together to do a project this large.”

Grafing said, “We will collect coats through Friday, Oct. 5. Paul and Tanya Diegel generously offered the use of their washers and dryers at The Legacy Place where the Faith in Action volunteers will launder all necessary items before the Sunday, Oct. 14 distribution at the former St. Paul’s Church on Fourth Street SW from 2 to 5 p.m.”

Said Diegel, “We are looking for anything that can be cleaned or repaired.”

‘When I heard about it, I said, ‘Go ahead – do it – it sounds like a good idea,” said Laura Hovland, Essentia Health Valley City facility manager.

“We were contacted by Vicki to see if we were willing to be a drop off center for coats. We felt this program was very valuable, and something that shouldn’t be dropped in this community and we wanted to participate in any way we could,” said Dr. Tanya Diegel, a family practice physician with Essentia’s Valley City Clinic.