After a chilly and ominous September start, Fall has been remarkably mild in Wallowa County. But that won’t last. A wintry blast is set for later in the week. Fall is over.

If your kids have outgrown their coats of last year, or are looking for a newer, warmer one, now’s the time to act! In fact, if the adults in your family, or you have friends in need of a warmer or newer coat, there’s a snugger coat in their future too.

Each year, the Wallowa County Rotary Club, in partnership with Building Healthy Families, collects donated coats, and in many cases, purchases new coats, for distribution to children and adults in need in Wallowa County. This popular program typically distributes two hundred coats each fall.

Rotary Coats for Kids Chairman Rob Lamb noted that plenty of coats are available for those who need them this year. “Usually we have lots of coats that find new homes by this time of year,” Lamb said. “But this year not as many people have stopped by the Wallowa Valley Professional Building on the corner of First and Greenwood streets where they can pick up a coat that fits. That’s especially true of children’s coats.”

In addition to the traditional donated Coats for Kids Program, the Rotary Club now distributes new coats through Building Healthy Families. Using input from area teachers and social workers, approximately seventy-five new coats will be distributed this fall. Individual Wallowa County Rotarians and local benefactors donate approximately $1,500 each year to purchase these coats. Marilyn Dalton of Building Healthy Families purchases the warm winter coats in a variety of sizes and colors based on specific student needs. Children take pride in their warm new coats.

The Coats for Kids and Adults program will end November 30.

Rotary is still asking local citizens to donate warm, clean coats, gloves, and hats for distribution to children and adults in need in Wallowa County. Coat drop boxes are located at Safeway, the Bank of Eastern Oregon, and the Community Bank branches in Joseph and Enterprise. Wallowa residents are asked to donate coats directly to the Wallowa Resale Store on Main Street.

So if you are in need of something warmer to wear, stop by the Wallowa Valley Professional Building on the corner of First and Greenwood streets and pick up one that fits. Building hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. New items will be added as they become available until the end of November. If anyone needs a coat but is unable to travel to the distribution spots, or does not find the correct size, contact Marilyn at Building Healthy Families: 541-426-9411; or Rob at 541-432-4343.

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