TELLURIDE – Community members in need of quality warm winter clothing are encouraged to come to the Telluride High School cafeteria on Thanksgiving Day to get outfitted for free.
The distribution takes place at 4:30 p.m., just prior to a free community Thanksgiving dinner, also at the school.
In what has become a Telluride holiday tradition, bundles of outerwear items have been collected locally over the past month for the annual Warm Coat Drive/ Warm Clothing Drive. The effort is a collaboration between three entities: Boot Doctors, Alpine Chapel and Eco Cleaners (who clean all the donated items for free).
“This is what the holiday should be about – taking action,” said Penelope Gleason of BootDoctors, who takes special pleasure out of matching needy people with cozy clothes. “Believe me, we have people who need warm clothing in our community. I’ll see people waiting for the bus in a cotton hoodie, and after the clothing drive, I see the same folks wearing warm clothes.”
In a typical year, Gleason said she collects 40 to 50 coats and pairs of gloves, slightly fewer snow pants and “a lot of casual wear,” as well as 10-20 pairs of boots. “Some people donate used clothing, and others donate new stuff that’s come out of their own closet that still has a tag on it. It’s just a generous sharing of the community.”
BootDoctors goes through its own inventory on an annual basis, and contributes 20 brand new sets of outerwear to the cause.
It’s not too late to donate items for the warm clothing drive. “If people bring us stuff on Thanksgiving, we will distribute it,” Gleason said.
Any items that remain after the distribution day will be donated to the Navajo Tribe’s warm clothing drive.