The Berkshire Eagle reports that again this year, two local groups are gathering coats to provide winter warmth to friends, neighbors, and strangers in need.

The Williamstown Council on Aging and the Northern Berkshire EMS are gathering up as many winter coats as they can and distributing them to anyone facing freezing temperatures with no protective gear.

The effort usually gathers and places more than 100 coats every winter.

According to Angela Swistak, director of Northern Berkshire Transport and an EMT with Northern Berkshire EMS, the program has been going for nearly 10 years.

People can drop off unneeded coats and jackets for distribution at the North Adams or Williamstown locations of the Northern Berkshire EMS, or at the Williamstown Council On Aging in the Harper Center. Coats are accepted through Jan. 31.

You can also take coats to the Berkshire Community Action Council for distribution. The BCAC frequently aids people by referring them to agencies for help or processing applications for heating aid — putting the agency in contact with people who might not have access to winter clothing.

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