Stopping the cold: Landis PD coat drive seeks to ease wintry burdens

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

By Chandler Inions

LANDIS — Landis Police Department’s new chief, Matthew Geelen said he wanted to be a more visible presence in the community when he took over. He’s extending that commitment with a coat drive organized through the department.

“This is the first time Landis Police has organized a coat drive,” Geelen said. “We recognized the need within our community and decided to take the initiative to address it. 

“Our goal is to support those in need and ensure they have access to warm coats during the winter season. We are excited about this opportunity to make a positive impact and are actively seeking community support to make this coat drive a success.”

Geelen said that the drive aims to outfit people of all ages. 

“We are looking for any gently used or new coats in all sizes, including children’s, adults and plus sizes,” Geelen said. “Coats in good condition, with functional zippers, buttons and no significant damage are highly appreciated.”

The chief added that while they are accepting all types of coats, they “noticed a higher demand” for heavier winter coats suitable for colder climates. 

“Additionally, waterproof or water-resistant coats are beneficial for individuals who spend extended periods outdoors,” Geelen said. “Any contributions, however, will be immensely appreciated and distributed to those in need.”

Through observation and community engagement, members of the department began to notice the need for coats in and around the area. 

“We noticed that during the colder months, many individuals in our community were lacking suitable warm clothing, including coats,” Geelen said. “We also reached out to local organizations, shelters and social service providers to better understand the needs of those who are most vulnerable to cold weather. 

“Through these efforts, we recognized the significant demand for warm coats, especially among low-income individuals, homeless populations and families facing financial hardship. Based on this information, we decided to organize a coat drive to help meet this specific need and provide assistance to those who require warm coats during the winter season.”

The drive will run through the end of the year. 

“Once we collect the donated coats, we have a distribution process in place to ensure they reach those in need,” Geelen said. “Our team at Landis Police works closely with local shelters, community organizations and social service agencies to identify individuals and families who require warm coats. We partner with these organizations to coordinate the distribution in a fair and equitable manner. 

“Our aim is to make the distribution process as seamless and organized as possible, and we work closely with our community partners to ensure that the donated coats are provided to those who truly need them during the winter season.”