United had it covered, lock, stock and coats

By Kimberley Price

KICKING off the 2019 Winter Coat and Blanket Drive, Echuca United Football got behind the community donation cause on the weekend.

Setting up a donation drop off at the Eagle’s home game on Saturday, Drive co-ordinator Julie Sands was thrilled with the outcome.

‘‘It was a great response from the Club,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m thrilled they helped us out.’’

As the nights are slowly getting colder, the Winter Coat and Blanket Drive has commenced for its sixth year.

Aiming to provide warm coats, bedding, scarves, beanies, socks or blankets to those who do not have the means to get their own. Whether it is the financial burden of heating costs, low incomes, health issues, homelessness or unemployment the generosity of the community through the Winter Coat and Blanket Drive can make a difference.

Over the years Echuca Moama Community Projects has given away close to 3000 coats and numerous blankets to those most in need in our local communities.

‘‘I’ve worked in the service support sector in the community for a long time and I recognised a need to help people who were struggling over Winter time and the Drive developed from there,’’ Julie said.

‘‘We just encourage people to donate their warm items to help others in the community.’’

The Drive is inclusive and community orientated and this year support is not just coming from Echuca United, but also Echuca Neighbourhood House (ENH) with the implementation of a Sock Drive as a result of feedback from people in need. ENH are also hoping to introduce a soup kitchen on the Coat and Blanket Drive distributions days.

Once again, the students from the Echuca Specialist School — as part of their annual community inclusive education program — will be assisting the Coat Drive by picking up donated items weekly and setting up the Hall for the coming distribution days. Beechworth Bakery have been supporters for the past five years by donating cakes for the free coffee station.

If you are cleaning our your wardrobe and find some unwanted coats, blankets bedding, scarves or beanies or you pick up some extra socks next time you are shopping, drop them into one of the many donation stations to be distributed to those in need.

■Donations can be made at: :

The Riverine Herald, Echuca Neighbourhood House, Echuca 208 Primary School, Echuca Regional Library, Echuca Moama Family Medical Practice (both locations) and St Marys Parish Hall.