FISH collects coats for needy

As the summer fades into fall, short-sleeved shirts will be replaced by sweaters and eventually by winter coats.

However, not everyone will have a coat to buffer the winter's chill. That's why Friends in Service Helping, along with the Carson City Host Lions Club are asking members of the community to donate their old coats.

"While you are enjoying your new warm coat, some other person may be enjoying your used but warm coat from last winter," said Monte Fast, executive director of the Carson City charity. "More used coats are needed."

FISH, which was given the Best Practices award by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is in the midst of its 13th annual Coats for Kids drive.

"This need comes with the change of the season," Fast said. "We are distributing coat coupons to each school principal, counselor and nurse and to all ministers in this area so that when one of these persons observes a person in need of a coat, the coupon is given on the spot."

About 700 coupons were mailed out Tuesday. Once someone receives a coupon, it can be exchanged for a free coat from the FISH Thrift Store.

All coats are cleaned prior to being given away. Mark Frady, owner of Mercury Cleaners, cleans the coats, fixes zippers and mends tears for free.

"He'll do several hundred coats for us," Fast said. "When the coats come, they almost look new. There's probably some coats in there that are as nice as you could buy anywhere."

Frady said the extra work is well worth the satisfaction of serving others.

"It's just our way of helping out in the community," Frady said. "We believe that we have to take care of our brothers in need."

Fast said the organization is dependent on the good will of residents in Carson City and Lyon, Douglas and Storey counties.

"Community support is what we rely on," he said. "If people don't believe in us, then we would just evaporate."

Fast hopes to collect and distribute about 450 coats this season.

You Can Help:

To donate coats, drop them off at the FISH Thrift Store on Carson and Long Streets or at Mercury Cleaners at 217 S. Curry Street.


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