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By: Gardner News, December 4, 2019

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, left, along with members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, deliver hundreds of coats to Gardner CAC Director Julie Meehan, during a snowstorm on December 3, 2019.  The coats were collected over the last few months for the Sheriff’s Annual Winter Coat Drive, including the Gardner Museum.

GARDNER — Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis visited a number of Greater Worcester County charities on Dec. 2-3 to distribute winter jackets for the holiday season, including a stop at the Gardner Community Action Committee.

The sheriff’s coat drive is an annual event that provides new or lightly used winter coats to families in need throughout Worcester County and is a collaborative effort between the sheriff’s office, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Warmer Winters of Fitchburg, Twin City Cleaners of Dudley, as well as many other local businesses and community partners.

“Sadly, we have many families who struggle to make ends meet, especially during the long winter months. The sheriff’s winter coat drive is a wonderful resource for us each year to help keep our families warm,” said Julie Meehan, Gardner CAC director.

“We are extremely fortunate to have had so many wonderful community partners, including our great friends at the Gardner Museum assist us with this year’s coat drive by donating and dry cleaning thousands of winter jackets. This program would not be possible without their overwhelming compassion, generosity and support,” Evangelidis said.

This year’s coat drive also received a huge boost with donations and grant awards from the following agencies: Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, St. Francis Community Health Care Foundation, Walmart of West Boylston, Care-One at Millbury, Christopher Heights Assisted Living, The Gun Parlor, Tito’s Vodka, Beer Garden of Worcester, Diamond Chevrolet and Hearing & Brain Centers of New England.

“The sheriff’s annual winter coat drive helps to ensure that local families who may be in need are provided an adequate winter coat. With thousands of winter jackets collected during this year’s coat drive, we are able to help families stay warm during the cold winter months,” Evangelidis said.