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Coat giveaway Saturday at Mason Township Baptist

Published 7:52pm Thursday, September 26, 2013

As the weather is getting cooler, many of us are digging out our winter gear — hats, coats, gloves — to prep for coming months of toe-numbing temperatures.

Unfortunately, cozy winter attire is just not a reality for many children in our community.

But the people at Mason Township Baptist Church decided to fix that problem. Saturday the church, a small congregation of about 45, will host its first Community Carnival and Coat Give Away.

Last fall Heather Burns, a long-time member of the church, suggested gathering coats for children in need and giving them away in a family-oriented event. As a retired teacher in Cassopolis Public Schools, Burns has seen firsthand the many children who go to school shockingly underdressed.

“Six-year old children would come in with just a light jacket and tennis shoes—no hat or gloves—when the weather was below freezing,” Burns said. “As our church is beginning to grow and looking for ways to reach out to the community, I thought maybe this is a direct need that we could fill.”

Burns got the idea for the coat give-away from a similar event at Brenneman Missionary Church in Goshen, Indiana.

The church has been collecting children’s coats since early this year and has over 60 to give away. Many members bought them in the spring when the coats were on clearance.

The coats, ranging in size from 4 to 12, and hats and gloves will be given away at this weekend’s event. The carnival will be held at the church located at 20109 Mason St. in Cassopolis from 9-11 a.m. The coats will be given away on a first come, first serve basis, one per child.

The carnival will feature a bounce house, puppet shows, door prizes, face painting, child finger printing, a fire truck and ambulance, balloons and refreshments. The police department will also bring a K-9 dog for the children to meet. All carnival events are free. Papa John’s will be giving away free slices of pizza; Wal-Mart and Meijer are also sponsoring.

The church is still taking donations of new coats and is looking for volunteers. If you would like to help, contact Denise Breden at (269) 641-5555.

The next day the church will have a special service at 10:45 a.m. with chalk artist and ventriloquist Rod Snow. A picnic will follow the service. Everyone is welcome to the special service and to the picnic.

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