The youth at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Cassville will be hosting an all-night coat drive on Nov. 19.
The group of teenagers will arrive at the church at 6:30 p.m. and camp out all night until 8 a.m. the next morning. The students will be camping outside all night to raise their awareness of local families in need of warm coats and blankets.
"Through this experience, I think the youth have learned that when there are people in need, especially in our own community, it is our responsibility to fill that need," said Justin Gates, a youth group volunteer.
"The youth sleep in cardboard boxes," added Gates. "They are really excited for the event and sleeping outside in the cold and on concrete does not even factor into the equation."
Area residents are invited to drop off new and slightly used coats, blankets, gloves hats and other winter apparel at any time during the evening and early morning at the church, which is located on Old Exeter Road.
All items collected during the coat drive will be donated to the 2010 Share Your Christmas campaign.
"This is not just a Emmanuel Baptist Baptist Church event, this is a community event," said Gates. "We are opening this up for the whole community to be able to participate by bringing coats and blankets. The church and our youth group are just the avenue to get coats out of our closets and into the hands of families who need them."
This is the second year the youth at Emmanuel Baptist have hosted a coat drive. Last year, the group collected over 100 coats and blankets for area families.
"Times are tough right now, just like they were last year when we did this," said Gates. "I know that Share Your Christmas gave away all the coats and blankets we collected last year, and I believe that if we collect more they will find homes for them."