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North College Hill church coat drive warms hearts as well as bodies

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Posted at 11:13 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 23:25:11-05

CINCINNATI — Barbara Strum's family is growing so fast, it's sometimes hard for her to keep up.

"Six or seven grands (grandchildren), after a while you lose track," Sturm said.

As fast as her family is growing, the kids seem to be growing even faster.

"I have been known to get something and two months later you’re looking like you (the kids) can’t wear that anymore," Sturm said.

That's where the Saint Paul United Church of Christ coat drive comes in. Every Tuesday, along with a free dinner sponsored by the church, people who need a coat can take one.

"Most of the kids in this community walk," Pastor Barry Bordenkircher said. "This is a walking community to the school. There are lots of other coat drives around, but none right here in this area."

The weekly dinners were a longstanding tradition at the church, but the coat drive is new this year. It was the idea of new church council member Judith Boyce.

"People are always very grateful," Boyce said. "They say, 'Tell the pastor we said thank you.'"

The church has given out close to 200 coats since the first week of October. Now the people behind the drive are hoping their good deed inspires others to hold coat drives of their own.

"I think we need to get back to having a village," Sturm said. "Everybody's got to help one another. You have your good days, you have your bad days, but it takes everybody to help out."

All of Sturm's grandchildren left the church Tuesday night with a winter coat.

Interested parties can make coat donations at Saint Paul United Church of Christ from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.