SUNBURY — Valley residents in need of warm clothing this winter came out to the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA in Sunbury on Monday for the first day of the annual coat giveaway.

Heidi Shemory, of Sunbury, said she lost her job due to COVID-19 and came looking for a coat for herself and her four children between 12 months and 12 years old. The 18th annual coat giveaway continues today and Wednesday at 1150 N. Fourth St., Sunbury

“When COVID hit, a lot of people are really broke,” said Shemory. “Some people just need help.”

Chyna Kuhns and Cherako Martin, of Sunbury, said they came looking for coats after finding out that Chyna is pregnant.

“I don’t have many coats,” said Kuhns. “I just moved here from North Carolina. I need one to fit while I’m pregnant.”

Martin said most of his clothing was taken by an ex-girlfriend.

“I’m starting from scratch,” he said.

Kuhns said the YMCA is a great place.

“Everything is wonderful here,” she said. “I’ve never had a bad experience.”

Katrina Mouery, co-executive director of the YMCA, said 1,000 coats for adults and children as well as hats, gloves and scarves, will be distributed over the three days of the event. There are adult and children coats.

“We have a very nice variety,” she said. “Whether you want a short coat, long coat, puffy coat, big coat, small coat, they’re all here.”

Mouery said the hours were extended to help with congestion. Recipients are distanced within the store and asked to wear masks and sanitize before entering.

“The need is great in our community on a regular basis,” she said. “This helps people be able to have a little extra money in their pocket to spend on someone else. They can buy groceries instead of three kids’ coats. It’s a really great tool for people to help their money stretch further.”

The coat giveaway continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday.

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