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Keeping Tri-Valley Folks Warm This Winter

One Warm Coat Drive is underway.

The San Ramon Valley Rotary Club has kicked off its annual One Warm Coat drive.

The club is collecting coats, sweaters and other clothing, as well as blankets and bedding for men, women, children and infants - in clean and usable condition – to be distributed to local and East Bay charities.

This is SRV Rotary’s 16th year offering this program. The organization’s partners include Bishop Ranch, local libraries and many local businesses.

One Warm Coat is the largest annual clothing collection project in the Tri-Valley area.

“My husband Bill started this program in 1995,” said Dany Gregory, director of club services. “He collected 55 items in our garage that first year.”

Bill was the charter president of SRV Rotary at the time.

Club members collected more than 1,000 items the next year. Donations kept growing until they’d reached 12,000 items in a single season.

“We are hoping the community will help us to break our record in these particularly troublesome times,” Gregory said.

Due to the large quantity of clothing and bedding collected, Bishop Ranch provides vacant office space to store, sort and distribute the items collected.

Donations will also be collected during the 10th Annual Bishop Ranch Holiday Tree Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

For those unable to attend the event, items can be dropped off at numerous locations throughout the Tri-Valley area through Dec. 14.

Major recipients of the donations include families with elementary school children in depressed areas of Contra Costa County, along with major charities in Oakland and Richmond.

SRV Rotary’s largest recipient is Christmas for Everyone held in Concord, where the club is the primary supplier of clothing.

Thousands of people come every year to this event to receive items on Christmas Day, according to Gregory.

“We’ve been doing this for 15 years and it is something that we’re really proud of,” she said.

The Bath Studio is a local business that has been collecting One Warm Coat donations for the past six years.

Owner Fred Turner said he is an avid supporter of the program and feels it makes sense to help people who might otherwise be cold in the winter.

“It’s a project I strongly believe in,” Turner said. “It’s a very easy and simple thing for the community to participate in.”

Donations can be dropped off at The Bath Studio, 500 Bollinger Canyon Way, Suite A-14, through Dec. 3.

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