Coat/blanket drive helps locals have a warmer winter

CARLSBAD — As the temperature starts to drop this winter, Carlsbad’s residents in need will keep warm with donations gathered at the second annual Carlsbad Village Association Farmers Market Coat and Blanket Drive on Nov. 27.
Farmers Market manager Christy Johnson paired with a local organization — the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau, or CCB — to collect new or gently used blankets and cold-weather clothing for North County’s less fortunate residents.
“Winters get cold here even though we live in sunny Southern California,” Johnson said. “I went through my closet and found gloves, hats and jeans to donate too.”
Johnson set up two tables at Saturday’s market to collect items and in just a few hours, they were filled with donations.
“It doesn’t take much extra effort on my part and it’s convenient for everyone to bring it by here,” Johnson said. “The hardest part is fitting it all in my car to drop it off later!”
A second drive to collect new, unwrapped toys and nonperishable food items will be held at the market on Dec. 4. All items will be distributed by the CCB in early December.
“Our final distribution day will be Dec. 11 at the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad, where we will have hundreds of families drive through to pick up their gift baskets,” said Phil Urbina, CCB Adopt-a-Family Project president.
Johnson approached the nonprofit CCB last year, hoping to participate in their collection efforts that have been held each year in Carlsbad since 1970. The CCB estimates that they have helped thousands of families in need since the program’s inception.
“I set this up through them because these people are incredible,” Johnson said. “They collect racks and racks of clothes and fill tables with food to put together packages for all the needy families.”
The first Farmers Market Coat and Blanket Drive’s success pleasantly surprised Johnson. She had advertised the event through flyers and e-mail blasts and was overwhelmed by the donations dropped off by market visitors.
“I put out one table and it was overflowing by the end of the day,” she said. “I love doing this kind of thing with the Farmers Market; I figured it was a good place for people to bring donations because they’re already coming here.”
The Carlsbad Village Farmers Market is held every Wednesday and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. and is located at 2930 Roosevelt Street, between Grand Avenue and Carlsbad Village Drive.
To learn more about the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau and its Adopt-a-Family project, visit christmasbureau.org.

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