PHOTO: The Rainsville Police Department has collected around 1000 coats for people in need to keep warm this winter. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
RAINSVILLE, Ala. — The entire DeKalb County community pitched in big time to help Police Chief Kevin Smith and the Rainsville Police Department collect hundreds of coats for children or an adult that may not have warm clothes for the winter.
"I estimate we've received 1000 coats from all over," said Smith. "And that's a very conservative estimate."
I would certainly have to agree, as the coats are literally overflowing the storage space available at the Rainsville Police Department. Even with all the coats there currently, the department has already given out 200 to 300.
Smith said that he is currently trying to distribute the coats throughout the community, and has contacted numerous churches and organizations to help them find a person in need.
"We're also instructing our officers when they go on calls if they see a child in need to come to the office, pick one up, and make sure they get it," said Smith.
"I feel that is part of protecting and serving," he added.
The coats have been contributed to the department over the last couple of weeks after Chief Smith started the program and asked for donations of warm coats to be distributed to kids in need.
"I can't bare the thought of kids freezing in this weather," said Smith. "America is the greatest nation on Earth, but people don't realize there is still poverty here. We see it all too often on calls."
The Rainsville Police Department will give a coat to any child in need, any time of day. They only ask it be limited to one coat per person in need.
"If they need a coat at 3 am, come by and we'll call an officer," said Smith. "I'm not sure what all sizes we have, but I've seen everything from Infants to 3x."
While most of the coats are second hand, many people from the community even purchased new coats to donate. Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Sylvania even donated 25, $20 Walmart gift cards to be used for buying coats. Many other schools, churches, and organizations from all over pitched in.
"It's not what we did; it's what God did," said Smith.
"Our coat drive touched people's hearts, and this is what happened," said Smith, as he looked at the enormous amount of coats.
"I can't say thank you enough to these people," said Smith. "God will honor them for their giving."