The Melissa Public Library is hosting its annual coat drive and needs the public’s help to make it a success.


“What they asked for is cold weather gear for adults, teens and kids,” Lorelei Perkins, the librarian for Melissa Public Library, said. “It can be new or gently used and it can be hats, gloves, sweaters, sweatshirts, rain gear.”


People are welcome to drop off the items inside the library anytime during open hours. Perkins said the donated clothing will be given to Melissa Community Outreach, a local non-profit organization that distributes the clothes to residents in the area.


Items are collected from October to March, and distributed throughout the winter months.


“They especially have said that larger sizes are often in short supply,” Perkins said.


Along with the coats, the library also collects food for the non-profit.


“We need white bread, shampoo, and canned milk, dried pasta,” Perkins said.


Since the library started collecting food seven years ago, Perkins said it’s collected more than 6,100 pounds of food in all.


Collecting the coats and food at the library allows people to get involved with helping others in their community Perkins said.


“People feel like their invested in the library,” she said. “They feel like they’re doing something good for their friends and neighbors. I’ve had people say I’ve actually used the food pantry and now I feel like I can give something back.”


Individuals can also drop off items directly at Melissa Community Outreach.