The Turner Valley Jacket Racket can help ease expenses for families faced with gearing up for the cold winter months ahead.

Jacket Racket coordinator Christine Bates says they've currently got about 45 winter coats on hand and, thanks to a donation from the Black Diamond Pharmasave, they're also well stocked with hats, mitts and scarves.

She says the program is open to anyone in need.

"Every year, the need for the Jacket Racket seems to increase," Bates says. "Between the economic downturn and the fact that sometimes people can't afford to make ends meet, one of the things that is difficult is to outfit your entire family with winter gear. That can be an expensive process."

She says any items leftover once the program wraps up at the end of December will be donated, adding that last year, they were able to donate about 150 winter coats to the Mustard Seed in Calgary.

"At the end of the program, the coats that are leftover end up going into Calgary to the Mustard Seed," she says. "They are usually very thankful to have those in December as well because a lot of their coats by that time have been taken by people and new people come in and they don't have a coat."

Donations to the Turner Valley Jacket Racket can be dropped off at the Town of Black Diamond, the Town of Turner Valley, the ATB Financial in Black Diamond as well as the Royal Bank in Turner Valley.

The Turner Valley Jacket Racket, an outreach program of the United Church in Turner Valley, operates out of the Turner Valley United Church basement on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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