Small coats for youngsters and bigger coats for their parents filling a room at The Salvation Army will be distributed today.
The giveaway will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the charity at 625 I St. in Modesto.
As of noon Wednesday, the Salvation Army had collected roughly 5,000 coats, as well as other warm clothing such as gloves and sweat shirts, said Debra Qualls, its social programs administrator.
The massive assortment is significantly smaller than the 9,900 collected last year. Even then, there were some people who didn't get coats. So Qualls said she hopes more people will deliver items today before and even during the drive.
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"I'm expecting we'll run out," she said.
The Salvation Army hasn't given a reason why donations are down this year. It conducted the same outreach program this year as last year, beginning in November, Qualls said.
Coats and jackets for men and women sizes large and extra large are in particular demand, she said.
Volunteer Lynn Scott was disappointed to learn that the demand might outpace the supply after delivering items from her family Wednesday and asking
neighbors for any extras. She had heard about the drive in the news.
"How sad. I wish I'd known earlier," Scott, 60, said. "I would have gone to more doors. Next year, we'll be more prepared."
She planned to return today with more donations.
"I tried to find more from the neighbors, but everyone said they had already brought theirs in," she said.
Volunteers spent the morning sorting the coats and picking out those in need of cleaning. Qualls said it helps if people can bring in coats that already are clean.
Coats are limited to one per person. All family members need not be present to get coats, but a family member must show identification for each member receiving a coat, such as a Social Security card, birth certificate or a school ID card for children.
Bee staff writer Inga Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2324.