Coats, Coats Everywhere and especially at The Downtown Barn in Liberty where on Saturday, October 17th, over 500 new and gently used donated coats were collected and given away free to over 150 happy community friends and neighbors.  The Coat Drive was an initiative of the District 7210 Community Service Committee of which Liberty Rotary's own Judy Siegel is the District Chairperson.  A number of the 55 clubs in the District held similar events making an impact on all of the communities in the district and showing the positive presence of rotary districtwide.  

Liberty's coat drive began collecting coats at a number of sites in the area by placing large boxes at the Department of Social Services, Jeff Bank, St. Peter's Church, Sullivan ARC, United Methodist Church and Vine and Branch Methodist Church, all in Liberty.  In addition the Verona Family Country Store Foundation donated brand new vests to give away.  Even the Liberty High School Interact Club got in the act collecting and dropping off a number of much needed winter coats.  
Posters in both English and Spanish were created and distributed throughout the community as well as numerous posts on social media helped to get the word out and promote the event.  The dynamic Coat Drive Committee of Judy Siegel, Barbi Neumann Marty, Mrs. Terry Grafmuller, Joanna Gass, Saraid Gonzalez and Barbara Blakey met weekly to plan and execute the coat drive.  The committee picked up the loaded collection boxes and sorted through the coats at the Downtown Barn the week preceding the event and many of the coats were washed at the laundry mat next door.  The event was not scheduled to begin until noon but families began showing up as early as 10 AM to scoff up their winter coats and by noon more than half of the coats had already been given away.  But the gift of giving just kept on giving as local friends and community members continued to bring bags of coats to donate that replenished the tables that were emptying at a fast pace.  
The plan was that at the end of the day, the coats that were left would be donated to St. Peter's Church of Liberty and the United Way of Sullivan County but by 3 PM all of the donated coats were gone.  "The success of today's event was beyond anyone's expectations," said Judy Siegel.  "We want to thank everyone who donated, collected and worked to share the warmth in our community".  For those in the community who were unable to secure coats for their families, there are some available at St. Peter's Church on Saturdays.