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Giving a warm donation

Lions Club, Andrews Klean Korner sponsor winter coat drive

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Giving a warm donation

Santa greets both customers and coat donors at Andrews Klean Korner in downtown Statesboro. The coat drive for children is sponsored by the Lions Club and Andrew's Klean Korner.

    With the true spirit of the holidays in mind, a local service organization and a local dry cleaner are teaming up to gather winter coats for needy individuals in the county.
    The Statesboro Lions Club, with the help and cooperation of Andrews Klean Korner, has organized a “Coats for Kids” clothing drive to lend a hand to Statesboro and Bulloch County's less fortunate. Just bring in a gently-used coat to any Klean Korner location and they will clean, press and store the coats before the Lions Club distributes the donated items.
    Jim Thibodeau, president of the Statesboro Lions Club, said the club ran a coat drive a few years ago but they had gotten away from the project. With the downturn in the economy, the upswing in need and the approaching South Georgia winter, Thibodeau said this year was a good time to bring back the coat drive.
    “The cold here in Bulloch County usually hits right around January and early February, so we should have everything in place before the cold hits the area,” Thibodeau said. “The distribution of these coats will be here (in Bulloch County) and we just enjoy helping people. Our motto is 'We serve.'”
    Eddie Stephens, owner of Andrews Klean Korner, said he got on board with the project because “we thought it was a good cause.” As an added incentive, Stephens said for each acceptable coat an individual brings in, Andrews Klean Korner will dry-clean one shirt, blouse or pair of pants for free.
    “The best thing is that everyone's got a coat or two lying around that are not being used so it is of no use to anyone,” Stephens said. “Why not give it to a child or grown-up who needs it?”
    Stephens said Andrews Klean Korner will also donate clothing, now considered abandoned, that has been left at the cleaners for a prolonged period of time.
    Thibodeau said that though the name of the drive is “Coats for Kids” there are plenty of adults in the area in need of a proper winter coat, so they will be accepting those donations as well. He also said the Lions Club will be working with the Boys and Girls Club, Project Safe Haven and other local charities to distribute coats throughout the area.
    “We'll make sure (the coats) get to the right people. That's what this is all about — getting them to people in need,” Thibodeau said. “With the depressed economy right now, there are a lot of people reaching out (for help).”
    There are four Klean Korner locations in Statesboro: downtown at 101 West Main, on Brannen Street near the old Winn-Dixie, at 437 Fair Road, and on Northside Drive near Harvey's.
    Phil Boyum may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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