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Baptist church hands out winter coats

Amber Guthro, among a stock of donated coats and winter boots, set aside for low-income residents. Guthro was the organizer of a handout of winter clothes for people who are unable to afford them, hosted at First Baptist Church.
Amber Guthro, among a stock of donated coats and winter boots, set aside for low-income residents. Guthro was the organizer of a handout of winter clothes for people who are unable to afford them, hosted at First Baptist Church. - Fram Dinshaw

Volunteers at First Baptist Church handed out warm coats and winter boots to local families in need Saturday before winter strikes.

Organizer Amber Guthro said that she and her colleagues collected about 300 donated coats this year for low-income folks.

“We don’t want people having to choose being warm and feeding themselves or putting oil in their oil tank,” said Guthro.

Demand for warm clothing is slightly down from last year, an indication that people’s needs are being met.

Guthro also praised the “incredible,” community support, adding that a number of people came in as soon as the donation hall opened at 10 a.m.

“As long as we keep one person warm, mission accomplished,” said Guthro.

Saturday’s giveaway comes after last month’s Coats for Kids drive, which collected a similar amount of winter gear for those who cannot afford to buy it.

Local low-income residents also received some help from last month’s Pictou County Food Drive

However, poverty is an ongoing problem for many in Pictou County.

A family and child poverty report released in 2014 revealed that 24.3 per cent of children in New Glasgow were living below the poverty line, compared to 18.6 per cent in Halifax.

The report’s findings earmarked New Glasgow as the third-worst place for child poverty that year, behind Cape Breton’s rate of 32.6 per cent and Kentville’s 24.4 per cent recorded at that time.

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