How many (unused) coats do you have in your closet?
Big Sky’S 2020 coat drive
Kelsey French remembers a coat drive happening when she was in elementary school.
“I grew up in Big Sky, born and raised here. I’ve always tried to volunteer where I can,” French said.
She worked at Choppers before her current position as office manager and events coordinator for Lone Mountain Land Company (LMLC) and Big Sky Real Estate Company (BSREC). While at Choppers, she noticed employees and customers coming in that did not seem prepared to stay warm through the long Big Sky winters. It was these interactions that inspired French to consider a coat drive, but she was not quite sure where or how to start.
As just an individual with an idea, she did not know if it would take off or if she could provide the woman-power to meet the demand if it did.
The connections she made working with LMLC and BSRECC were the missing ingredients. As the companies brainstormed ways of helping the community during the pandemic, French pitched the coat drive idea, and everyone loved it.
“I had this avenue of people who wanted to help the community and now a portal for being able to help,” French said.
Bins are located inside BRECC’s office, the Wilson Hotel, in between Montana Supply and Toast, and French was planning on placing bins at Morningstar Learning Center, Discovery Academy and both public schools. Persnickety Cleaners in Big Sky is cleaning 100 coats for free and LMLC and BSRECC are covering the remaining cleaning costs.
The cut off for donations is Nov. 12 to ensure each coat can be cleaned before distribution. If community members wish to donate new coats, these may be dropped in the bins as well. French asks that hats and mittens not be donated for this drive.
Nov. 24 is the first day people can pick up coats from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Wilson Hotel. The sales center of BSRECC will host the second pickup day on Nov. 25 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided.
There are no restrictions on who may pick up a coat, but each person is allowed just one. Kids, however, may receive a whole snowsuit set if provided. French mentioned, especially considering the effect the coronavirus has had on everyone, it is hard to tell who may be in need.
“That’s what the whole idea is, to help the community as we can,” French said. The goal is to continue the coat drive annually.
Questions? Want to help out? Email French at firstname.lastname@example.org