While no one can answer with complete certainty whether we’re in for a harsh or mild winter, there is no question that everyne need a warm coat in cold weather. Steve Keiser from Oliver Ford Lincoln in Plymouth is committed to providing a winter coat for everyone who needs one.

Every October, Keiser launches the Warm Up Marshall County program. This year marks the program’s 18th year, with the official kickoff set for Monday, October 24th.  Over the next few weeks, community members are invited to bring gently used and new coats to Oliver Ford on East Jefferson Street of drop them off at Morrow Insurance, Beacon Credit Union, the Pilot News or here at the WTCA studios. Coats of all sizes are needed, especially those for infants and children.

A few years ago the program lost its source to have the coats cleaned so Keiser is asking everyone to wash the coats before dropping them off.  If a coat needs to be dry-cleaned, Xaver Cleaners in downtown Plymouth will clean it for a $4 donation and they’ll even drop it off in time for the distribution.

Each year the program collects 400 to 700 coats.  The past couple of years Jason Haines, the manager at WalMart has held out with the program by allowing Warm Up Marshall County to purchase kids coats at cost and Plymouth FOP Lodge 195 and Hoosier Old Wheels have donated hats and gloves for those in need.

Since its implementation, Warm Up Marshall County program has distributed more than 13,000 coats throughout the community. Now in its 18th year, Steve Keiser commented, “I’ve see this thing go full circle.  I’ve seen families with great need come and get coats for their family and now a few of them are bringing coats in to help another family.”

Distribution is set for Sat. Nov. 10 from 10 till noon and Sun. Nov. 20th from noon till 2 at the National Guard Armory in Plymouth.