Paul Sweeney Coat Drive delivers hundreds of coats to St. Johnsbury area residents

07 November 2012

Green Mountain Power’s 10th annual Paul Sweeney Memorial Coat Drive distributed over 350 winter coats and dozens of hats, mittens, scarves and boots on Saturday to residents of St. Johnsbury and the greater Northeast Kingdom area.

“I’m amazed every year by the turnout for this event,” said GMP’s Bob Morey, who organized the coat drive. “Many of the areas in the Northeast Kingdom have historically had high unemployment rates so the need for support is always significant and this was illustrated once again this year.”

Over 200 people turned out for the event which was held at the Salvation Army store in St. Johnsbury. 

“I recognize folks who return each year to bring items in they picked up the previous year for their kids in exchange for a larger size this year,” Morey said. “In addition, there are also many senior citizens who need help and greatly appreciate the warm clothing provided through this effort.”

Longtime Central Vermont Public Service employee Paul Sweeney began the coat drive in 2003 to help people in the St. Johnsbury area gear up for the winter months.  Over 1,000 coats were collected and distributed during that first event.  Just one month later, Paul passed away unexpectedly, and the event has been carried on since in his honor. 

“Paul was one of those people who couldn’t say ‘no’ when someone needed help,” Morey said. “Whether at work or out in the community, Paul was the kind of person people always turned to when an important job needed to be done.”

The coat drive brought in over 500 coats and sweaters in total through a collaborative collection effort by Green Mountain Power, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Community National Bank and the Salvation Army.  All leftover items have been donated to the Salvation Army store in St. Johnsbury. 

 Contact: Dorothy Schnure, Green Mountain Power, (802)-655-8418