CORTLAND - Three Lakeview students are trying to help others stay warm this winter by collecting coats as part of the One Warm Coat community service project.
Mackenzie Grayson, Amber McCullum and Abby Pavlik, all juniors at Lakeview High School, will be collecting items from 5:45 to 7 p.m. today, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 at the Don Richard Memorial Stadium prior to all home varsity football games.
Grayson said the need for winter coats has never been greater.
''We want to make sure that nobody goes without such a basic necessity as a coat this winter. We would like to get as many as we can,'' she said.
Items being collected are clean, gently used coats and jackets of all shapes and sizes. Grayson said the program is an easy way for families to pass along coats and jackets that they no longer need.
One Warm Coat is dedicated to distributing reusable coats, free of charge, directly to local children and adults. Plans are to give the coats and jackets to local shelters and schools for distribution to local people in need.
Grayson, who has already completed the 10 hours of community service hours required by high school students through her volunteering at Lake Vista, said she has seen people in area communities without coats on days when the weather has been colder.
She said the three were looking for a community service project when she read about One Warm Coat, which is a national non-profit organization that supports and encourages coat drives.
Information on the organization indicates it helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute coats free to people in need.
More than one million coats have been provided to those in need at no cost since its inception in 1992.