United Way collecting winter coats for the vulnerable in the Kingston area

A new winter jacket can be a major expense for some, as inflation rates remain at record levels. 

The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is launching its annual campaign to connect new warm coats with community members who could use them.

In the three years it’s been going on, the campaign has been important, but this year it’s crucial, says Bhavana Varma, president of the United Way in Kingston. 

“It’s a choice (for some people) of paying rent, food, or buying a new coat,” she says. 

Varma points to inflation, saying more people than ever are struggling. 

“We’re talking about young people, we’re talking about students, we’re talking about seniors, and we’re talking about adults and families,” she explains.

Last year, more than 1,100 items were handed out. This year that’s expected to jump by 25 per cent.

“We know that our agencies have seen a 25 per cent to 30 per cent increase in people coming to them,” says Varma. 

Varma says they’re looking for jackets for adults, and bins will be placed around the city for people to make donations. They’re looking for new or gently used clean items that can be washed, she says. 

Donations can also be made in cash or you can visit their website.

Varma says the need is a big one this year.

“It’s survival. People who are homeless, they would die if they don’t have a decent coat. People who don’t have their own transportation, who use a bus, it is cold in a bus shelter. You need to be warm. You need to stay warm.”

Drop off Points

Kingston

United Way KFL&A Office

417 Bagot Street
Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Calvin Park Branch Library

88 Wright Crescent 
Mon-Thu 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Central Branch Library

130 Johnson Street 
Mon-Thu 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun 1 to 5 p.m.

Isabel Turner Library 
935 Gardiners Road
Mon-Thu 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun 1 to 5 p.m.

City Hall 
216 Ontario Street 
Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Frontenac

Sydenham Branch Library 
4412 Wheatley Street 
Mon 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tue and Thu 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sharbot Lake Branch Library 
1037 Robert Street 
Tue & Thu, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lennox & Addington

Napanee Branch Library 
25 River Road 
Mon – Thu 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri – Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Amherstview Branch Library 
322 Amherst Drive
Mon – Thu, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri – Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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