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Share the Warmth in the High Country this Winter; Mast Store Holding Coat, Sweater and Blanket Collection

Nov. 16, 2012. While the economy is in recovery, many of our neighbors are still finding it hard to make ends meet. Winter is on the horizon, and there is still a need to share the warmth to help others fend off the cold. The Mast General Store is hosting its eighth annual Share the Warmth coat, sweater and blanket collection campaign from now until Nov. 30. 

As we scurry about enjoying the cool days of fall, we all know that colder temperatures are on the way, and many of us are ready to face whatever weather the coming season has to offer. Unfortunately, there are some in our communities who aren’t as prepared.

The Mast General Store, along with Columbia Sportswear, invites you to share the warmth in your community by “sharing” your clean, gently-worn coats, jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats, and even blankets so others can be warm this winter. You can drop off your items at the Original Mast General Store and the Mast Store Annex in Valle Crucis. Your donation to the Original Store will be shared with the High Country Women’s Fund and Appalachian Women’s Fund.  

Donations to the Annex and the Boone Store will be given to Valle Crucis Elementary School, Watauga High School, and Hospitality House.  

“It was important to us that our community partner have direct access to those in need,” said Fred Martin, president of the Mast Store. “Our employees, our customers, and Columbia Sportswear are all eager to help our neighbors, so we want to ensure that these coats, jackets, sweaters and blankets will go to individuals who can use them.”  

Since 2006, the High Country Women’s Fund has worked to create positive change for women and their families in Avery and Watauga counties. This organization helps fund local and community non-profits and programs that provide a better life for more than 15,000 women and children in our community who live in poverty.

The Appalachian Women’s Fund (AWF) serves as a philanthropic catalyst for social change and economic justice with the goal of creating a community where all women and girls reach their full potential. AWF works to ensure that all women and girls have access to the resources they need to live the life they deserve. All decisions are made for women by women. 

For over 26 years, the Hospitality House has provided emergency shelter services and transitional family housing, operates the Bread of Life Community Kitchen, and administers WeCAN – a crisis intervention and homeless prevention program in a seven county region. 

Coats being given to local schools will be discreetly distributed by teachers and staff members who know of students that need a little extra help to stay warm this winter. 

This is the eighth year the Mast Store has undertaken this project to help provide coats for those in need in their home communities, and it’s the sixth time that Columbia has generously offered their own coat donation, which will be divided across all Mast Store communities. “Our customers are always so helpful when we identify a need. We all have jackets and coats hanging in our closets or in storage that can be put to better use,” said Martin. “If you can help, please drop off your clean coats, jackets and blankets by November 30th.”

For more information about Share the Warmth, visit MastStore.com, and to find out how you can help those in need in your community even more, visit the High Country Women’s Fund at www.hcwf.org, the Appalachian Women’s Fund at www.appalachianwomensfund.org, and the Hospitality House at www.hospitalityhouseofboone.org.