Press Room

Fourth annual Community Coat Exchange helps Utahns stay warm
November 27th, 2009 @ 7:58pm
(ksl.com TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — As the weather gets colder, a lot of people are in need of warm winter coats. The fourth annual Community Coat Exchange helps provide coats to those in need.

People dropped off extra coats at the Salt Lake City Library Plaza Friday. Those who needed a coat could get one, no questions asked.

Exchange organizers say there has been a decline in donations this year.

“This is indicative of a larger need this year for families during this time. Maybe people aren’t giving away things and maybe people are more in need,” says Deanna Taylor with the Community Coat Exchange.

Leftover coats will be given to the Crossroads Urban Center Thrift Store at 1385 W. 840 S. in Salt Lake City.

Those who didn’t make it Friday can still drop extra coats off at the center.

Update: Volunteers donate coats at Providence event

News staff   Email

Providence Journal photo / Steve Szydlowski
Before Sue Burns, of Riverside, can even get her coats into Cathedral of Saint John Episcopal Church on North Main Street, people are looking them over. A few hundred people turned out for the 13th Annual Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Jacqueline Siatti could be shopping for the hottest new sweater from J. Crew. She could be in a dark theater watching New Moon, the latest movie in the Twilight saga.

Instead, she spent Friday morning in the basement of the Cathedral of St. John Episcopal Church, where the annual Winter Coat Exchange was taking place. Now in its 13th year, the Coat Exchange is the brainchild of Greg Gerritt, who thinks there are better things to do on the day after Thanksgiving than waiting in line for a flat-screen television at Wal-Mart.

On Friday, the busiest day in the U.S. retail calendar, thousands of activists from around the world show their disdain for consumer binging by participating in Buy Nothing Day, a protest against commercial excess.

Siatti, a senior at North Kingstown High School, was here at the urging of her volleyball coach, who has woven community service into the notion of team spirit. At the beginning of the season, coach Vicki Tefft told her girls that they would be participating in a series of service projects.

“I feel like we are very blessed,” Tefft said Friday. “But sometimes we don’t recognize it until we do something for others.”

Siatti, who is writing a story about Black Friday and the Coat Exchange for her student newspaper, collected 65 coats from her family, friends and neighbors and, together with her parents, delivered them to the church.

“It’s so crazy, the way we over-indulge,” Siatti said. “This really puts things into perspective. It gives a face to all of the numbers you hear about on the news.”

(This entry was first posted at 10:25 a.m. and updated at 11:33 a.m.)

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Fighting Back at Black Friday

Slug Magazine, November 2009

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MEDIA RELEASE

4th Annual Community Coat Exchange

Contact Deanna Taylor, info@coatexchange.org or 801-631-2998

11.23.2009, Salt Lake City – The 4th Annual Community Coat Exchange promotes principles of community and reusing the day after Thanksgiving.

Every year people all over the United States spend the day after Thanksgiving getting ready for the holiday season by patronizing retail businesses for gift buying. “We perceived a need for a project for the same day that would be useful and meaningful, as well as educational,” states Deanna Taylor, founder of the Utah event. “The event focuses on concerns about the ecological and psychological consequences of our consumer culture and the impact of our consumerism on society.”

The Community Coat Exchange, patterned after a similar event in Rhode Island, is a collection and distribution of winter coats and other winter clothing items. The event is held every year the day after Thanksgiving from 10am to 2pm at the Downtown Salt Lake City Library Plaza.

Taylor reflects about last year’s event: “Each year this event grows. Last year we gave away 600 coats. The year before that we gave away 300 coats. What makes it all worthwhile was being able to give coats away to folks from all socioeconomic levels. It is truly an event bringing all community members together.”

People have been bringing donations to City Academy, a Utah Public Charter School and Community Coat Exchange Partner/drop off center. Coats can be dropped off there any weekday before Thanksgiving (555 East 200 South). People can also bring their coats to the event itself or any of the 4 other drop off centers (listed on the event website).

At the event, no questions are asked: If you need a coat, come get one. If you want to exchange a coat, bring the coat you want to donate and take one in exchange. If you have a donation of coats, we know people who can use them.

Left over coats are donated to the Crossroads Urban Center Thrift Store, a project of the Crossroads Urban Center which advocates for low income and homeless people. The Crossroads Urban Center Thrift Store gives clothes away to low income people and also sells clothes and other goods in its retail shop to the general public to help fund the Crossroads Urban Center programs.

More information: info@coatexchange.org or 801-631-2998 – http://www.coatexchange.org

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Buy Nothing Day

By Derek Staffanson of A Liberal Mormon

I’ve grown older, hopefully wiser, and have come to understand the shallow nature of consumerism, and appreciate the importance of sustainable living and simplicity. I’m no longer interested in celebrating C.S. Lewis’ aptly named “Rush.” Now I’m an advocate of Buy Nothing Day.

Honoring Buy Nothing Day isn’t very difficult. You simply don’t go shopping. There are plenty of other activities with which to fill your time.

Several local charitable and progressive groups are sponsoring at Coat Exchange at the Salt Lake City Library plaza, from 10:00-3:00 on Friday. Helping out at this or some other charitable activity would be a wonderful way to start the season.

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