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Anniston dry cleaners show Godís love by providing coats for needycomment (0)

December 20, 2012

By Anna Keller

Anniston dry cleaners show Godís love by providing coats for needy

David and Debbie Young are helping to ensure that members of their community stay nice and warm this winter. As owners of Smith Cleaners in Anniston, they are accepting coat donations and are cleaning each coat before sending it to the Baptist Service Centers of Calhoun Baptist Association.

“I was inspired by the book of James to start this coat drive,” Debbie Young said. “Two of the things that are everyday things people have to have are food and clothing, and I thought this would be a good way of showing the love of Jesus.”

Thanks to some media exposure from radio stations, word has spread around the area, and the Youngs have received more than 600 coats so far. Their goal is to collect 1,000 coats by Christmas, and Debbie Young feels confident that they’ll reach or exceed that amount. She hopes the recipients will receive more than just a new article of clothing.

“My prayer is that God will bless every person who gets a coat and that not only will they feel the warmth of the coat, but that they’ll also feel the warmth of Jesus through the gift,” said Debbie Young, a member of Hill Crest Baptist Church, Anniston.

Jim Davis, associate director of church and community ministries at the Calhoun Baptist Service Centers, is thrilled with the way this initiative has taken off. Davis is distributing the coats at the two Baptist Service Centers, and each family registered in their database is able to receive a coat for every family member.

“I just think it’s a wonderful story about how a local business can reach out to its community and then how the community has shown such a great response,” Davis said. “They’re cleaning the coats at no cost — all you have to do is bring it in. It’s wonderful.”

The drive has already been so successful, in fact, that Davis isn’t able to use all the coats for the Baptist Service Centers in Calhoun Association, so he’s passing some along for Etowah Baptist Association, as well as some local charities, to distribute.

“The folks receiving them are all so excited,” he said. “We have some really nice coats coming in. Some are even brand new with the tags still on them. And the need for them is so great.”

To learn how to donate a coat to help the Youngs meet their goal of gathering 1,000 coats by Christmas Day, contact Smith Cleaners at 256-239-9111 or email Davis at jdavis@cbasbc.org.

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