PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - Hard freezes are a rarity in central Florida, but a group is trying to make sure nobody stays cold during this year’s chilly weather.
Bright Hopes in Pasco County has been collecting coats and tying them around trees, light poles and fences, leaving a note saying the clothing is free to anyone who needs it, WTVT reported.
Group members are also stapling hats and gloves around town. The group already has given away 50 coats and will continue this month as part of its annual Warm Winter Drive, WTVT reported.
“It means so much to a lot of people out here who are literally sleeping on the ground tonight,” said Melissa Cohee of Bright Hopes.
The organization is a community involvement outreach program for the homeless and underprivileged of Pasco County, located north of Tampa.
Cohee said the coats are for anyone.
“I don't want anyone to feel obligated,” she said. “I don't want anyone to feel bad about taking it, so this is not just for homeless, this is for anybody that needs it, anybody that's cold, anybody who needs a jacket, they can take it.”
Cohee says people will stop her, even from their cars, and hand her the coats off their backs to give away.
“That happens quite often, actually,” Cohee said. “A lot of people are touched, and if we can inspire somebody else to do something like that, that's our main goal.”
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