By MaryAnn Kromer
FOSTORIA - First Step Family Resource Center in Fostoria was a busy place this week. Monday, a winter clothing giveaway began, which continues through Friday. Wednesday, free bread and other baked goods were available for those who needed them.
Brooke Rodriguez, a monitor at the shelter, helped coordinate the distributions. She said bakery items were donated by Panera in Bowling Green. Two more bread and bagel days are planned for Wednesday and Dec. 18. Those interested should come early for the best selection, and bring bags to carry home the baked goods.
Last year was the first year for First Step to hand out winter wear. Rodriguez said although it was not advertised extensively, the response was significant enough to offer it again. The coats came from the collection done by Old Fort Bank. Other items available include boots, hats, gloves and scarves. Rodriguez said one donor purchased many new items on sale at the end of last season and donated all of them for the giveaway.
"Most of them went out that first day ... People were just lined up," Rodriguez said.
The center also had coverlets to give out, that had been made by local church groups and donated to the shelter. Rodriguez said no one was asked for proof of income, but for many, the need was obvious. Some adults had brought multiple children to try on the coats.
"They didn't have coats on, or their kids didn't have them," she said.
The coat drive is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today and Friday at First Step, 1099 Columbus Ave., Fostoria. For more information, call (419) 435-7300.