100 Mile Laundromat owner Andrew Hofmarks is once again collecting winter coats, as well as hats, scarves, snowsuits, gloves and mittens to distribute to folks who need them through local societies involved with the Coats for All project. Carole Rooney photo.

Coats For All a heart-warming campaign

Wrap some Cariboo kindness around those who need it this winter

The Coats for All campaign is underway now for donations of warm outerwear that can be dropped off at the 100 Mile Laundromat.

Owner Andrew Hofmarks has been volunteering at his local laundromat for more than a decade in collecting the donations and cleaning any of them that need it for free.

As already cleaned coats are much preferred, he asks folks to tag those as “washed” or “unwashed”, noting he can’t dry-clean them, so don’t leave those sorts of items unless they are already clean, or new.

Each November, Hofmarks gathers and sorts out the clean from the unwashed when upwards of 300 winter coats arrive through the doors at the laundromat downtown (in Owen Square, across from the library).

Once he has washed any that still need it, they are distributed along with the clean hats, scarves, snowsuits, gloves and mittens through the societies involved with the Coats for All project, he explains.

Hofmarks adds the collection of items runs through November, and are there for anyone who needs one – you don’t have to prove your income, and the project volunteers don’t turn anyone away.

The annual influx of gently used winter gear he takes in each year gives him pride in his community, because there is always enough to distribute those who need a bit more protection from their South Cariboo winters, he explains.

While this volume of heavy coats and outerwear accessories takes a chunk of his time, Hofmarks says it also gives him pleasure to see people being warmed up by his good works.

If you can spare it, all you need to do is donate a coat or other outerwear to gain a warm feeling yourself. Items can be dropped off directly at the 100 Mile Laundromat at 4-460 Birch Ave.

If you need a warm coat or winter accessory, they will be displayed in various society offices around 100 Mile House and at Canim Lake Band as they come available.

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