MASON — “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”
According to Luke 3:11, those who have extra tunics, or perhaps coats, should give them to those in need, and the members of the Mason United Methodist Church (UMC) have taken that message to heart.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, church members will be giving away coats at the Zerkle House of Hope, located along 2nd Street in Mason, near the Mason UMC.
Church members Sue Stone and Kathy Vanmeter spoke with the Point Pleasant Register and said they have around 300-350 coats ready to distribute, which have all been donated from church members as well as friends through other coat drives, announcements on Facebook, and word of mouth. They also noted if any still wish to donate a coat, they may do so by bringing coats to either the church or to the Zerkle house by Saturday.
Stone and Vanmeter also noted there will be coats available for all ages and no questions will be asked for those who ask to receive one on Tuesday. The two women also said there are some scarves available, some of which were made and donated by church members. They also said the coats will be given away until around noon on Tuesday, or until all the coats are gone.
Stone and Vanmeter stated this was the second year for this coat drive, saying last year they were able to give out around 300 coats last year. When discussing the history, Stone said the idea came from a church member who had been thinking about the need for coats in the area and felt the church should do something to address it. The member announced the idea in church and coats began to come in. Stone added that everything just seemed to fall into place and when the idea came around this year, there was no question that the church was going to hold the drive again.
As stated above, the coats will be distributed from the Zerkle House of Hope, a thrift store that opened earlier this year which Stone said had been thriving. Operated by church volunteers, the Zerkle House of Hope is open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The store is also open on the third Tuesday of every month, which coincides with the opening of the Bend Area Food Pantry, and a free breakfast is served on this day. Donations can be made to the Zerkle House of Hope during the hours of operation.