Coats hang on trees, poles, fences free for the taking

A group in Pasco County is trying to make sure that no one is cold during the cold snap in Tampa Bay. 

They're collecting coats and tying them around trees, light poles, and even fences with a note that anyone who needs it can take it.

They're also stapling hats and gloves around town for people to take, too. 

The group has already given out about 50 coats and will continue to give them out throughout the month of January for their "Winter Warm Drive." "It means so much to a lot of people out here who are literally sleeping on the ground tonight," said Melissa Cohee of Bright Hopes.

The organization is a community involvement outreach that reaches out to the homeless and underprivileged of Pasco County.

But Cohee says the coats are for anyone who needs them. "I don't want anyone to feel obligated. I don't want anyone to feel bad about taking it, so this is not just for homeless, this is for anybody that needs it, anybody that's cold, anybody who needs a jacket, they can take it," she said. 

Cohee says people will stop her, even from their cars, and give her the coat off their back to give away. "That happens quite often, actually. A lot of people are touched, and if we can inspire somebody else to do something like that, that's our main goal," said Cohee.

Bright Hopes does this every year.

There are drop-off sites for anyone who wishes to donate a coat, hat, or gloves. For more information, head to the Bright Hopes Pasco Facebook page. 

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