In the news: Coat drive pushed up to serve hundreds of migrants coming to our doors

When floods ravaged Northern Colorado back in 2013, Catholic Charities and the entire Colorado community stepped up to help. When COVID displaced families and individuals who had nowhere else to turn, the community rallied behind Catholic Charities and our partner organizations to make more shelter available to those who needed it most. And, when the Marshall Fire swept through Boulder County in late 2021, the entire community came out to support those who found themselves without a place to call home.

In a crisis, we are called to help our brothers and sisters. When neighbors need help, we all step up and lean into the commandment to love your neighbor. Over the past few weeks and months, thousands of migrants have arrived in Colorado with nothing but clothes on their backs. With colder days and nights in the forecast, thousands of families with children are facing the harsh Colorado winter without appropriate clothing.

When Catholic Charities called our friends at FOX31/KWGN and Dependable Cleaners, asking about the availability of coats through their annual Coats for Colorado coat drive, the team responded immediately. Even though the collection of Coats just started only 10 days before, Dependable Cleaners was able to deliver hundreds of coats to meet the need now, nearly two months ahead of normal distribution.

“When Catholic Charities reached out we knew immediately that we wanted to help and help quickly. With our partners at Dependable Cleaners we mobilized and were able to deliver coats now, weeks ahead of schedule. This clearly reflects how big the need will be this year,” said Byron Grandy, Vice President and General Manager of FOX31. “We were honored to work with our partners, Dependable Cleaners and Catholic Charities to make sure those in need have a warm coat this winter.”

Since the beginning of October, the warehouse at Samaritan House has had a line wrapped around the building with families and individuals seeking resources, assistance and materials they need to weather the incoming colder weather. Thanks to the hardworking staff and volunteers at Catholic Charities and Coats for Colorado, sack lunches, a set of clothing and a winter coat are handed out to the people waiting in line.

“This donation of coats makes a huge difference, and it comes at such a perfect time,” said Mark Hahn, director of parish and community engagement at Catholic Charities. “We have such a need. It’s really a crisis situation right now with so many people coming into Colorado. They are coming to us with absolutely nothing,”

When Hahn unloaded the coats he picked up from Coats for Colorado, there was a group of people waiting in line for help. “We will see probably 15 to 20 people consistently at our door who need our help,” he said. “It took a phone call and some quick action to bring the love of Jesus Christ to clothe and feed our neighbors who may not know where to find their next meal or warm coat. It’s a small gift of true dignity.”

YOU CAN HELP! Donations are accepted seven days a week at Samaritan House 2301 Lawrence St. in Denver, between 9 a.m. — 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. — 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A list of most needed items can be found here. Thanks in advance for your generosity.