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New safety precautions for annual coat drive in Sunbury

Fewer people will be allowed inside the building at one time, so hours will be extended for the three-day event.

SUNBURY, Pa. — As you walk into the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA's Sunbury branch, it's hard to miss the bin at the entrance. The YMCA is once again collecting coats and winter accessories for its annual coat drive.

"The greatest need is always children's coats," Katrina Mouery said.

Katrina Mouery is the Sunbury YMCA's Membership Director and is in charge of the 17th annual coat drive. She says because of COVID-19, this year's drive will look a little different. Masks are required.

"We ask that only one family member per household comes in to get the coats, so they're going to need to know their sizes prior to coming in," Mouery said.

Fewer people will be allowed inside the building at one time, so hours will be extended for the three-day event.

"We've probably given out, in the past, around 1,000 coats, right around that amount every year. That's a lot of people coming through," Mouery said.

All coats will be dry-cleaned before they are given out, and the YMCA has an electronic sanitizing sprayer.

"Disinfecting is a lot easier, more thorough, so we feel really confident with that," Mouery said.

Because of the pandemic, officials at the Y weren't even sure if they should have a coat drive this year, but Mouery says the community's need is too great. Mouery believes the need this year is stronger than ever.

"You might have lost your job, and that $25 to $50 for a coat is seriously important this year," Mouery said.

Donations will be accepted through October 23 at any of the YMCA branches in Sunbury, Lewisburg, Milton, or Mifflinburg. The coat drive runs from November 9-11.