ORWIGSBURG — The coronavirus may be in the area but people still need to stay warm.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a pandemic or not; the weather is going to get cold around here and folks either have jackets or they don’t,” Doug Cresswell, pastor of Faith Church, said.

Beginning Sunday, Oct. 4, the public can drop off or send new and gently used winter coats to the church at 1168 Centre Turnpike in West Brunswick Township. They can be donated from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays and Wednesdays through Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Used jackets that are dropped off must be washed, Cresswell said.

The pastor, along with members Michele Bosack, Diana Underwood, Beth Meckley, Alli Ball, Eric Loughman and Linda McElvaney, met at the church Wednesday to finalize details of the drive. Member Lana MacDuff will be its director.

All sizes of coats for men, women and children are needed, McElvaney said. The church has received 10 coats.

Those interested in getting a coat can fill out a request form online at or at the church with their personal information and coat size by Saturday, Oct. 17. Volunteers will sort donations the week of Oct. 18, and they can be picked up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.

Bosack said coats will be sorted by age and size, and will be placed in the clear bags with the form attached to avoid physical contact with people amidst the pandemic. The pastor said monetary donations are being accepted to cover the cost of purchasing a coat.

Cresswell said the idea for the drive, the church’s first, came up during a staff discussion a few weeks ago as they were brainstorming ways to help the community. McElvaney suggested the coat drive as an idea based on her experiences as a teacher at John S. Clarke Elementary Center in Pottsville.

One time, she and the school’s nurse gave a third-grade student a coat that didn’t have one.

“It really breaks my heart to think that there’s people out there without coats for their kids,” Cresswell said, adding donating one is “the least we can do” to help as most people have extra coats that go unused.

Cresswell said he hopes the drive becomes an annual event for the church and is willing to help other churches with similar drives.

“I want to make sure that if somebody would like a coat, we’re going to help them get it,” he said. “We’re taking special time aside to think about serving the community and that’s what we’re trying to do with this coat drive.”

More information is available by calling 570-366-5131 or visiting the Faith Church Facebook page.

Contact the writer:; 570-628-6028