Selbyville coat drive helping homeless vets

This winter will provide a chance for people to look out for their fellow man, as the Selbyville Community Club is hosting its annual “Coats & Sweats for Vets” campaign, in cooperation with the Town of Selbyville, which hosts the drop-off location.

Gently used coats and sweat outfits can be donated at Selbyville Town Hall for the entire month of December, to be delivered to Delaware’s homeless military veterans.

“I hope they will continue it, because we’ve had such good results every year. Each year it’s been bigger and better,” said organizer Dawn LeKites, proud of last year’s 200 donations. “I think it’s commendable for this community, really.”

After New Year’s, items will be delivered to Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans in Wilmington.

“The center has been very grateful for the generous donation it has received from this community in the past,” a Community Club representative said.

Men’s and women’s sweatshirts, sweatpants and winter coats will be collected in this annual drive.

“How many places these coats go, I don’t know,” said LeKites. “I just thought these were homeless veterans, and they were in one big place.” Now she knows the coats are dispersed to smaller shelters across Delaware, statewide.

The drop-off itself is in the spirit of the giving. Veterans living at the Wilmington location help the ladies carry all the coats inside. LeKites had a special moment meeting one veteran who looked particularly sharp in his coat.

“He looked decked out, and he looked like he was going to Wall Street. He said, ‘I got this coat last year,’” LeKites said. “There’s definitely a need, and they’ve been so appreciative.”

LeKites checks every donation to make sure they’re in good shape before driving them to Wilmington each January.

“The Town of Selbyville is so gracious about letting us put a Rubbermaid tub” in the lobby, she said, which the Community Club is happy to empty several times a week.

Selbyville Town Hall is regularly open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and located at 68 West Church Street.