Members of Little Britain Presbyterian Church are working to keep their neighbors warm this winter.
Beginning next week, the congregation will be collecting coats, hats, gloves, and other winter outerwear. In late November, that clothing will be available free to anyone who needs them.
Formerly known as Coats for Kids, the outreach is now called Coats for All to reflect its expansion.
While the program provides items for adults and teens, coats for children are always in demand, organizer Lynne Hart said last week.
"We always need children's coats. We always need coats for elementary-age children. We give out a lot of kids' stuff."
The church has been collecting items for the annual drive since 2014. That's the year the Solanco School District did not host a drive.
The school district resumed its drives in 2015. Beginning last year, the district brought those items to the church for distribution.
"We're asking for items in good condition - no holes, no buttons missing, and zippers that work," Hart said. "They should also be clean because we can't clean them anymore."
The church has been a distribution center for decades, thanks to the Temple family. Members of the congregation, the family also operated Clean Enterprises, the dry cleaning and laundry company in Quarryville. The firm cleaned all the donated coats at no charge and asked that the church serve as a distribution center.
After the business closed and the Quarryville distribution center ceased operation, the church became the Southern End's only place where the clothing was available.
Last year, 334 pieces of winter clothing were picked up at the church, in increase from 2017's 256.
Congregation members will accept donations at the church, 255 Little Britain Church Rd., Peach Bottom, from noon to 3 p.m. on October 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 30 as well as November 5, 6, 12, and 14. In late November, the congregation will make the collected items available to the community. The clothing will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on November 30 and December 2 and 7. It will also be available from 3 to 6 p.m. on December 3, 4, 5, and 6.
"We don't limit what people can take. We know some people take stuff for other family members and neighbors who can't get to the church. We take it on faith that people are taking only what they need," Hart said.
Some leftover items are given to other nonprofits.
"But we save all the kids' stuff for next year. We always need that," Hart said.