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Eaton Rapids insurance agency employees offer free winter gear for people in need

The free coat rack has coats, gloves, hats and boots in all sizes
Insurance agency employees offer free winter gear for people in need
Posted at 10:18 AM, Nov 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-30 10:18:24-05

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — It may look like a small insurance agency on South Main Street in Eaton Rapids, but this agency is doing way more than serving people with insurance needs. They are also making sure that residents of Eaton County have the necessities they need to get through the winter months.

For three years, Stacia Smith-Temple and her colleagues at Smith Kitsmiller Insurance have been setting out a free coat rack right in front of the shop.

"It started as a small vision. You know I thought we'd go through maybe 30 coats the first year. The first year we went through like 1,500," said Stacia Smith-Miller.

Smith-Temple says her "small vision" is making a huge impact.

People in need come by, try on a coat and take one.

As many as 50 coats are claimed each day, that's 250 coats each week.

Organizers say that it's not just coats that are available.

Anyone in need can stop by and check out these two bins, which are full of hats and gloves, and take what they need for free.

"A couple of ladies donated hundreds and hundreds of homemade hats this year, and actually, they've been doing this for the last two years that I've been doing this," Smith-Temple said.

Smith-Temple and her colleague say the coat rack is a community effort that keeps growing every year.

"I have a friend who works at a preschool, and every year, she asks me for a specific size of snow pants. It just gives me goose pimples to think that we can do things for people that really need it," she said.

The coat rack is replenished each day and sits outside of 240 South Main St. 24 hours a day.

It will be there through January.

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Erica Murphy

Erica Murphy

1:21 PM, Mar 03, 2021

Charlotte & Eaton Rapids

Neighborhood Reporter

Erica Murphy

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter