Coast Guard to begin community outreach for Annual Blanket, Coat and Toy Drive

JUNEAU, Alaska – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty is scheduled to begin its Annual Southeast Alaska Blanket, Coat and New Toy Drive Friday running through Dec. 7 in an effort to collect donated items that will be provided to villages throughout Southeast Alaska.

The crew of the Liberty is working with several local businesses including Taku Fisheries who will donate bins the Coast Guard will place throughout the city at Safeway, Super Bear Supermarket, Fred Meyer, Costco, Wal-Mart, Alaska & Proud and the Juneau Federal Building.

Following the collection period, Alaska Laundry and Dry Cleaners is donating their time and equipment to fully clean all the items donated. Les Schwab Tire Center is providing 300 heavy-duty tire bags to keep the donated items dry during delivery.

“It’s a great way to give to the community”, said Neil McKinnon, president of Alaska Laundry & Dry Cleaning. “We do what we do best and the donated coats and blankets are a direct benefit to the remote Alaskan communities.”

The Coast Guard has developed close ties with communities throughout Alaska and understands the resource challenges of living in remote areas. The Coast Guard started the Coat, Blanket and New Toy drive in 1997 helping to meet some of these needs at a time of year when the spirit of giving is at its highest.

“Spearheading the Annual Blanket, Coat and New Toy Drive is our way of giving back to Southeast Alaskans who have welcomed Liberty and it’s crew into their communities for nearly twenty years,” said Lt. Brian J. Tesson, commanding officer of the Liberty. “Together as citizens and Coast Guardsman this holiday season, we can continue to build that unique sense of community that Alaskans enjoy.”

The crew of the Cutter Liberty will then make deliveries of the donated items to the communities of Hoonah, Angoon, Kake, Pelican and Elfin Cove between Dec. 13-18.

Working together with the residents of Juneau, it is our hope that we can make the holidays a little brighter for some Southeast Alaska residents.

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