Coats and community at festival

Published 2:05 pm Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What started as a coat drive five years ago has grown into a full-fledged community festival with several organizations partnering to provide families with free, clean and warm coats through the winter.

The Cumberland Fall Festival took place Saturday at Cumberland County Middle School. In addition to racks of coats lining the school gymnasium, there was also a free lunch, live music, representatives of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Cumberland Community Cares who provided refreshments and activities, and free popcorn, a bouncy house, balloons and face painting.

There were approximately 585 coats on-site, that included all types in children’s, women’s and men’s sizes. There were hats and gloves available, too. The coats were cleaned and checked for any missing buttons.

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Those volunteering with the event said that participants could work with personal shoppers, who would write down the sizes needed and lead them to the options that work best for them.

Volunteers described the event as a community effort, a partnership of several churches and area organizations.

Faith groups involved included representatives of Jones Chapel, better known as The Rock Church, Fitzgerald Baptist Church, Shiloh New Covenant Church, Payne Memorial United Methodist Church and Hatcher Baptist Church.