The Tucumcari Police Department has launched its Cops and Coats drive for 2014 with bins for coats and a bank account for cash donations.
Cops and Coats was organized by Sgt. Brian Holmes and Patrolman Kenny Fernandez last winter after they saw children walking to school without outerwear on cold days.
Bins to hold donated jackets and coats for elementary school-age children have been set up at Tucumcari’s Alco store, 901 W. Historic Rte. 66 Blvd.; and Kmart, 2100 East Historic Rte. 66 Blvd., Tucumcari Police Sgt. Brian Holmes said, and a donation account has been set up at Everyone’s Federal Credit Union.
In addition, according to Patrolman Kenny Fernandez, four Tucumcari churches have organized to accept coat and jacket donations. The churches are St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 306 W. High St.; the First Assembly of God, 524 S. Monroe; the First Baptist Church of Tucumcari, Adams and Center streets; the Divine Connection, 312 Historic U.S. 66; and the Healing Place Ministry, Sixth and Nobles streets.
Holmes said the drive will continue through Oct. 20. In the following week, he said, distribution of the donated outer apparel will begin.
Holmes asked donors of new coats and jackets to leave the tags on in case the coats need to be exchanged. Suggested sizes are any that would be appropriate for elementary school students, he said. “Some of the older kids can even wear smaller adult sizes,” he said.
This year, he said, the program’s goal is to distribute coats county-wide.
Last year, the drive gave away 65 coats to Tucumcari Elementary School students in an effort that began in January and came together within days.
“This year,” Holmes said, “we’re better organized.”