Two upcoming clothing drives give Anchorage residents a chance to donate extra winter clothing, or receive what they need.
The first, Take a Coat, Leave a Coat, will kick off at noon Saturday at the Church of Love, 3502 Spenard Road.
Enzina Marrari, a Spenard resident and local artist, came up with the idea last weekend. Marrari had brought sandwiches to two men camped out in front of a closed business in Spenard, she said.
While they were talking, one man asked if she happened to have extra gloves. Marrari looked down at their hands, and realized neither man was wearing any.
So Marrari went home, found an extra pair of gloves and a few other spare items, then gave them to the men.
"I was driving home and I thought, 'I don't think it would take much to put up a clothing rack in Spenard,' " Marrari said.
With the help of some friends, Marrari arranged for a clothing rack to be set up outside the Church of Love. People can drop off or pick up clothing at any time of day.
The rack will be up for a week, maybe two. Marrari will then move it to a few other locations, including Out North Contemporary Art House, she said.
"It's not just for homeless people, it's for anybody who needs warm gear. It's really for our community," Marrari said.
A second clothing drive, focusing on the needs of the homeless, takes place Jan. 24 during Project Homeless Connect's annual event at the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage.
The one-day event provides a range of services for Anchorage's homeless, including haircuts; help with housing, Social Security and public assistance applications; direct medical care; and help getting state identification and birth certificates, according to a written statement from the Anchorage Coalition on Homelessness.
The project hopes to provide warm clothing for everyone who attends.
Donors can drop off scarves, hats, gloves, mittens and socks at the Tangled Skein, 11753 Celestial St. in Eagle River, or Far North Yarn Co., 2636 Spenard Road in Anchorage. Items can also be dropped off at the Egan Center the morning of the event.
Last year, donations were given to more than 700 people, according to a written statement. But organizers ran out of socks, said Sheri Boggs, who is coordinating the "Scarf4U Project" with Project Homeless Connect. Gloves are also in high demand, Boggs said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story called the Jan. 13 event "Take a Coat, Give a Coat."