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What’s Good: Marshall County kid’s coat drive gets help from Mishawaka business

23rd Annual Warm Up Marshall County kid’s coat drive
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 6:03 PM EST
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Not only is this holiday season signaling to be a tough one for those buying presents, but also for those making donations.

The folks at Oliver Ford in Plymouth went out of their way this year to make sure no child in their community is without a winter coat.

They’ve given out more than 18-thousand coats to kids over their 23 years organizing the annual Warm Up Marshall County Coat Drive.

This year, supply chain issues forced them to look for coats across county lines.

Normally, Steve Keiser shops for coats at the Plymouth Walmart to add to the kid’s coat drive he started at Oliver Ford 23 years ago.

But on Friday he went to Once Upon A Child in Mishawaka with so few coats on store shelves in Marshall County.

“We ran into a little snag this year. The supply chain is very low in Plymouth so we restocked at Once Upon a Child,” said Steve Keiser from Oliver Ford Lincoln.

It took a little outside the box thinking but the two family-owned businesses teamed up to purchase 150 kid’s coats with less than a day to spare before distribution.

“These guys came through for us because every year we buy 200 to 300 coats for kids and it’s just a special feeling to see a kid put on a brand new coat for the first time,” Keiser said.

“It’s tough as a small business and this pandemic’s been hard on everybody in the small business world. So, it was very honoring to have him call us and think of us and we wanted to do whatever we could to help,” said Once Upon a Child Co-Owner Tracy Schrimsher.

Even though this year’s search for coats brought Keiser further away from Plymouth, it brought these two communities closer together.

“It’s still our community. It’s half an hour away so they can’t come to Once Upon a Child every day. It’s very heartwarming to know that they’re going to kids that need them,” said Once Upon a Child Co-Owner Stephanie McCoy.

Making this year’s coat drive worth every mile.

Those coats will be distributed at the National Guard Armory on West Madison Street in Plymouth on Saturday from 10:00 A.M. until noon and then on Sunday from noon until 2:00 P.M.

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