Salvation Army sees a growing need for coats, food in Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Brigid Gleason's 3 year old daughter has a new coat to keep her warm now that the temperature is dropping in Cleveland.

Gleason received the coat when she signed up for the Salvation Army's Christmas Assistance Program. But unfortunately, not everyone who needed a coat could get one.

Although Coats for Kids donated more than 7,000 coats for the three-day sign-up, the need is so great that it wasn't enough.

"It is heartbreaking to send people away without the thing they were coming for the most," said Captain J. R. Fritsch of the West Park Corps.

Fritsch said the need is greater than he has ever seen it, not just for coats but also for food. Many are reaching out for help for the first time.

"The stories vary from losing jobs, losing loved ones, grandparents taking in grandchildren, we're seeing a lot of that," he said.  "So the need is there."

Gleason is a single mother who volunteers at a local hospital. She said she's not having any luck funding a job that will pay her.

"It's hard," she said. "I count on this and come every year."

The Salvation Army will gladly accept donations of coats or money. Their phone number is 216-861-8185 or you can text a one-time $10 donation to CHANGE at 80888.

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