It’s the same each year – the needy begin lining up in downtown Toledo on the first Saturday in December, and within two hours, Susan Perry said the hundreds of outdoor clothing items she annually distributes for free are gone.
The routine will continue this Saturday when The University of Findlay faculty member, for her charity called Susie’s Coats, sets up shop on the north side of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library at the corner of Adams and North Michigan streets. Distribution will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.
Perry recently became director of the University’s new sonography programs, but this is the ninth consecutive year for Susie’s Coats. She said the idea originated from a desire, when she turned 50, to give back “in a more profound way.”
Her initial goal was to collect and give 50 coats to those being served by Toledo charities that assist the poor. That inaugural effort had her stepping back from the clothing stack as people surrounded the table, she said. Since then, the Glass City’s impecunious population has persisted, she said. Last year, just as one of the coldest and snowiest winters in the region’s history swept in, her charity gave away more than 800 new and gently used coats, scarves and gloves.
Along with the usual library distribution site, Perry said she also gives items to homeless shelters and to poverty-stricken children who attend Toledo Public Schools.
No proof of income is required. Anyone can pick up items for themselves or people they know who are in need, said Perry.
Perry said she simply hopes her yearly effort “makes a little bit of a difference” in others’ lives.