Good Neighbors

Couple Starts Tradition Of Leaving Coats Around Town For People In Need

You might be surprised to hear how they're getting them into the hands of people who need them most.


If you've been walking around downtown South Bend, IN lately you may have noticed the jackets and gloves that are tied around trees and utility poles. While temps have been mild, residents of the city know that much colder weather is on the way. So, to help the city prepare, one couple has been leaving coats and other warm weather accessories around the city for those that need them.

Carl Buchanon and his wife Cathy started their project to #KeepSouthBendWarm on Thanksgiving Day and they're hoping to make it an annual tradition. They've been leaving the coats in places with high walking traffic to meet people where they are.

"If you live in the area, you know this is just the calm before the storm," Carl told WSBT-TV. "There are a lot of people that we've noticed walking around through our city that do not have proper wear."

The couple ties the coats to poles and trees with a card that reads, "I am not lost...if you are stuck in the cold, please take this."

The coats are typically gone within a day, which shows how much they're needed. The Buchanons hope that people will be inspired by their kindness and start putting out more coats.

"More or less, we want others to do as we are doing and just to put them out themselves so they can feel what we are feeling when we can go back and see that somebody has that," Carl said.

The couple plans to distribute the coats around the city every Saturday in hopes they can help as many people as possible before the temperatures drop.

"We are not saying we can give everyone a coat, just one at a time," Carl said.

Carl and Cathy are taking donations, so if you're in the area and have coats and other warm winter wear to contribute, you can reach out to them on Facebook to make arrangements, or, you can just hang the coats yourself.

If you aren't near South Bend, you can always start your own collection to make sure people stay warm in your town this season. Or, there are typically annual drives for coats and blankets hosted by organizations in every city. Try doing a google search or check in with local homeless shelters in your area. Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

(Source: images Cathy Macaione Facebook )

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