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Warm coats, warmer hearts

by CHELSEA NEWBY/Staff Reporter
| November 9, 2021 6:00 AM

WALLACE — The ladies of the Wallace Elks were filled with gratitude following their first coat drive. The event took place on Saturday at the Wallace Elks Lodge after the women spent six weeks gathering donations with hopes of giving children of all ages the gift of a warm winter season.

Tables and racks were filled with brand new or gently used coats, as well as hand knitted items collected from donation sites across the Silver Valley, Smelterville Walmart, and members of the Mullan Crafters Club.

Lady Elks member R.C. Hayman said that throughout the day, the women were able to pass out more than 40 coats, hats, and gloves to children ranging from newborns to teenagers; and even received coats large enough to give to some of the parents.

“One family came in and where they had stored all of their winter things, mice had gotten into them and destroyed all of their winter clothes and all of their Christmas decorations and so they had nothing,” Hayman recalled. “And it is those kinds of stories that you hear that just make it all worthwhile.”

Another member, Terri Dexter said that kids were thrilled to be able to walk through the tables and have such an assortment of items to choose from.

“It was hard not to have tears in your eyes the entire time,” she said.

Hayman also added that having so many brand new items ended up being more significant to the children than the ladies had anticipated.

“There were several families that had probably never had a new coat,” Hayman said. “We had one little girl that wanted to keep the tags on, because she was so proud that it was new.”

Due to the high volume of coats donated by the community, the women ended the day planning more opportunities to hand out items in the coming weeks while temperatures continue to drop.

The Wallace Elks will be hosting a Veterans Day dinner on Friday at 5 p.m., as well as a Thanksgiving Day dinner starting at 11 a.m., where donations will also be available to the public at that time.

If you are in need of items, but are unable to attend during those times, please contact the Wallace Elks at 208-753-4255 to set up an alternate time to come in.

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