Coats from the Koots: ‘We could feel the love’

Sam Baio of Valhalla Pure gave away 100 warm coats at Community Connect Day in Nelson in November, donated by his customers.

Sam Baio of Valhalla Pure gave away 100 warm coats at Community Connect Day in Nelson in November

Valhalla Pure gave away about 100 warm coats at this year’s Community Connect Day last week not off the shelves but donated by their customers.

“I gave them directly to the people who were going to wear them, not to an agency,” Sam Baio said. “It was a wonderful experience. People were so thankful. We could hear people talking about this warm coat they just got, it was like wildfire. We could feel the love.”

This was the third annual Coats from the Koots event.

“We work with our vast customer base to dig out all their closets every November. It was unreal what they came to us with. Our business and our clientele are in a more fortunate position, and we wanted to share that and give people something warm.”

Baio said he also got contributions from some of his suppliers.

“We asked if they had stuff that maybe had blemishes and not going to be sold but that were still good to wear. It’s about networking and relationships with our suppliers,” he said.

Each year the project has given away about 200 coats. Those not given away at Community Connect Day have gone to local charitable organizations.