Local business overcomes supply issues to host annual coat drive

PLYMOUTH, IND. — Some charities have struggled to help those in need this holiday season due to supply chain shortages, including a local organization that works to keep children warm during Winter.

Oliver Ford hosts his Marshall County Kid’s Coat Drive Warm up every year, but they couldn’t get hundreds of brand-new coats from Walmart in Plymouth like they usually do.

“When you get that phone call or text on Monday of the week before handing out coats, it creates a bit of panic,” Coaching President Steve Keizer said with Oliver Ford.

The collection of coats is in progress it is 23e year and the organizers weren’t ready to stop. They found another way to do it, with the help of a family business in Michiana.

They turned to Once Upon a Child. The family business has emptied some of its store shelves in Mishawaka and Goshen to help fill the need.

“Steve told me he needed 300 coats and I was like oh no I don’t know if I have 300 coats let me check and between the two stores maybe we can put some together thing, ”said Tracy Schrimsher, the co-owner of Once Upon a Child in Mishawaka and Goshen.

An expert from Indiana University said that with today’s supply chain issues, filling any large one-time order is a challenge for many right now. But Once Upon a Child said that unlike large retailers, they haven’t felt these supply chain impacts as much, which has allowed them to get involved.

“We buy from our customers, so that’s a good thing,” Schrimsher said.

“To provide quality children’s clothing at a fraction of the retail price, but knowing that it will go to people who, you know, it’s still our community, you know. It’s half an hour away, so they can’t come to Once Upon a Child every day, so it’s very heartwarming to know that they will be reaching out to the kids who need it, ”added Stephanie McCoy. , co-owner of Once Upon a Child.

The store was able to supply just under 200 coats for Oliver Ford, which Keizer says has been critical, especially amid the pandemic.

“It’s just a special feeling to see a child put on a brand new coat for the first time”, added Keizer

The company has partnered with several local organizations and received donations from the community to provide even more coats, some for adults.

In addition to coats, hats and gloves will also be distributed on Saturday, November 20.e from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sunday November 21st noon to 2 p.m. at the National Guard Armory at 1220 West Madison Street in Plymouth.

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