Geneva, IL -- March 10, 2014 -- Records are made to be broken. In the third year of organizing a local coat drive, Jerry and Billie Needham, owners of Pro Energy Consultants of Geneva not only broke their previous coat total record of 213, they smashed it.
The Needhams presented 500 coats, plus numerous hats, scarves, gloves and mittens to Wayside Cross Ministries in late February. Their One Warm Coat drive has netted 882 coats in the last three years.
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"We are thankful to donate this large number of coats, but we couldn't do it without our partners," said Jerry Needham. "Knowing that these coats are warming the body of a person who really needs it, makes me happy."
These partners include area businesses, two Daisy Troops from Grace McWayne School in Batavia, and a St. Charles area-networking group.
In December, donation boxes were placed at Gibby's Wine Den in Geneva, Confident Aire and All Spoked Up in Batavia, and Fox Valley Physical Therapy and Wellness in St. Charles. Additionally, Daisy Troop 373 of Northern Illinois and Daisy Troop 1154 of Northern Illinois contributed the 96 coats they collected in December. A business networking group organized by Marson Maynor, the Never Eat Alone Network, collected 51 coats.
Kale Little of Wayside Cross Ministries collected the boxes of coats along with Gabriel Murray and Mike Clancy, two Wayside Cross "success stories." Little says that because of the long, cold winter, the nonprofit went through more coats than normal.
"More people have come in off of the street requesting coats for either themselves or their families this year," explained the Hope Outreach Coordinator. "When it is this cold, we don't require someone to go through the entire (vetting) process. If you need a coat, you need a coat -- we won't turn someone away."
It is because of coat drives like the Needhams that Wayside Cross Ministries has enough coats available and needn't filter the requests. Little also mentioned how surprised he was when he learned how many coats were gathered.
"When I saw the number, I had to stop and read it twice -- it is unbelievable," he acknowledged. "This will set us up nicely for next year."
In the meantime, the Needhams are already planning their fourth coat drive for next winter. In fact, as you put away the winter clothes, clean closets or prepare for spring garage sales, they hope you'll keep the Pro Energy coat drive in mind. According to Billie Needham, her basement is "large enough" to hold many coats and they welcome your ongoing donations.
For more information about where to donate coats or other warm clothing, please contact Pro Energy Consultants at 630-770-4994.
About Pro Energy Consultants:
Locally owned by Geneva, Illinois residents Jerry and Billie Needham, Pro Energy Consultants is an energy-consulting firm with the mission to help American homeowners and businesses make informed decisions through home energy audits and energy management consulting. More information is available by contacting Jerry Needham at 630-770-4994 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more, visit geneva.proenergyconsultants.com or Facebook.
About Wayside Cross Ministries:
Since 1928, Wayside Cross Ministries has been a haven for the hurting and impoverished in the Fox Valley area. Through the power of God, WCM has evolved from one ministry to six distinct vibrant Bible-based Christ-centered ministries focused on transforming lives of men, women, youth and children in the greater Chicago-land area. Residential programs for men (Master's Touch Ministry), women and children (Lifespring Ministry), and community outreach programs (Urban Youth Ministry) for at-risk youth are available. The Hope Chest Resale Store reaches out to the community at large, as does the Hope Outreach Ministry. Wayside Center is a day center for the homeless in Elgin. For more information, visit www.waysidecross.org or call 630-892-4239.