By GREG RUSSELL
Register Staff Writer
Results of an annual coat drive in Gainesville are hoped to help give financial force to a local pro-life organization.
The drive begins Monday and runs through Saturday, Dec. 14. Coats collected will initially be donated to people in need — and the remainder will be sold at a profit benefiting Cooke County’s All Babies Born Alive (ABBA) agency.
ABBA Executive Director Sandee Feyereisen admitted the final proceeds are lower than other sources of income her organization enjoys.
But the drive doubles as a public good.
“It’s more a community service, which is what it was really meant to be,” Feyereisen said Wednesday. “That’s just something on the side that we do since we have so much donated that we’d rather have it go back out into the community than send it to other places.”
Once the drive begins, more than 25 local businesses and institutions will serve as drop-off points. In 2012, organizer David Hampton said the donation drive routinely generates 1,200 coats. During the season of the annual drive, Hampton uses his Dry Clean Super Center on California Street to clean all donated coats before passing them along to ABBA representatives.
This free cleaning service has a value of around $10,000. Hampton said he isn’t reimbursed for providing this, but added that the coat drive and ABBA’s pro-life operative give him personal satisfaction.
“It’s a total community effort,” he said in 2012. “Whatever money they get goes toward helping young mothers.”
Feyereisen said 2013 has been a comparatively slow year for ABBA in terms of donation strength. In 2012, her agency received $25,000 from area Knights of Columbus chapters and then an additional matching equivalent from the national Knights organization.
That $50,000, she said, enabled ABBA officials to purchase new sonogram equipment that had been needed for years.
“That was our big project — the biggest single one we’ve ever had, aside from buying our building,” Feyereisen said.
The 214 N. Taylor St. location is an expanded version of ABBA’s East Elm Street office. That building still exists, she said, but will eventually be sold to help pay for the new facility. And this year, proceeds from the coat drive and related events will simply pour into the agency’s general operating funds.
But 2014 marks the local agency’s 20th year, and Feyereisen said she and officials will designate a special fund to help raise the $180,000 still owed on the new Taylor Street facility.
“That was always the plan,” she said.
Beginning Monday, donors can deliver coats to Dry Clean Super Center, Landmark Bank, Prosperity Bank, Luttrull-McNatt, First United Methodist Church, American Bank of Texas, Red River Motor Sports, Hutcherson Insurance, Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, the North Central Texas College agriculture department, the Muenster and Gainesville branches of Muenster State Bank, First State Bank, the Lindsay Letter, the Gainesville Daily Register, Walmart, Gainesville ISD campuses, Lora’s Florist, Glenn Polk Autoplex, KGAF’s radio station, Edward Jones, North Texas Medical Center, Petroflex, Advanced Pedestals, Crossroads Baptist Church and Whaley United Methodist Church.
For more information, e-mail email@example.com or call Dry Clean Super Center at (940) 665-0048 or Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce at (940) 665-2831.