Marysville police officers continued their annual coat drive on Nov. 21 to collect warm clothing for local kids in need.
The drive was started by a local detective who coached baseball and brought in players from the local Venom Baseball league to gather coats for families.
Players from Venom Baseball still volunteer to help during the event.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to get together with our community and support folks in their greatest time of need,” said Chief Erik Scairpon, with the Marysville Police Department.
The coats are handed out at the Marysville Toy Store, a program put on to provide holiday gifts to local families in need every year.
“This year we have 1,700 families registered for the toy drive, which has exceeded all prior years of demand,” said Scairpon.
The coat drive was scaled back this year because of the pandemic.
“We usually do four or five independent coat drives during the season, but because of COVID we’ve brought that back to one,” said Marysville Police Commander Mark Thomas.
They usually try to gather 600 to 800 coats, and are still trying to reach that mark this year, said Thomas.
Those who wish to donate to the coat drive can still drop off coats or monetary donations to the Marysville Public Safety Building on Grove Street.
There will likely be more families requiring help with things like coats this year, said Scairpon.
“It goes without saying that this year has been tough on all communities, but certainly our community here has been affected by the pandemic. I know folks are out of work and I think that’s one of the reasons the need is even greater this year,” he said.
Scairpon said he hopes the event can help local children in need.
“While we have beautiful weather today I know kids are going to need coats so they can get out and play,” he said.
Many local youth with Venom Baseball again came out to help with the drive, such as Booth Seigel.
“We did it last year and we were handing out flyers,” he said. “We wanted to help people without coats."
Booth said he had fun last year competing between other groups.
“We actually had a competition last year between who could give out the most flyers,” he said.
Scairpon said he enjoys efforts like the drive that get police out to meet the community.
“I appreciate the opportunity for the community to support us,” he said. “We really care about the food bank. The work they do is tremendous and we’re happy to be a part of that."