Sweetsie Treatz opens community coat rack

Published 9:51 am Friday, January 3, 2020

Though the holidays may be over, the need for charitable donations in all areas is still present in communities across the country, including Carter County, and local business owners are still working on providing for those communities whenever possible.

As colder temperatures land in the region to stay, Sweetsie Treatz staff have set up a coat rack for their greater community to utilize, no questions asked.

Heather Odom, co-owner of the ice cream shop in Elizabethton, said they have been collecting coats from the community since the first week of December.

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She said they got the idea after speaking with Animal Shelter Director Shannon Posada.

“We started taking donations from the community,” Odom said. “We leave them out on the street for the community.”

The coat rack sits under the awning, protected from the rain, right outside their front door at 438 East Elk Ave. She said anyone with a need can take a coat from the rack without having to ask or prove anything, and those interested can leave a coat on the rack as a donation, no questions asked.

“We had an outpour of support from the community,” Odom said. “There is no judgment from anyone.”

The rack includes coats, gloves, hats, scarves and more, and Odom said the rack will stand until they run out or the community stops donating them.

“There is a great need in this community,” she said. “It is not just older people, but children and families.”

She said this need is especially important because of the closing of the only homeless shelter in the area.

The level of community support they received for the project, she said, was overwhelming.

“It is humbling watching everybody coming together,” Odom said. “I do not even really want recognition for it.”

The store itself is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days, but the rack itself will be outside at all hours. Odom said they will replenish the rack every morning as needed until they run out.

She said those interested in donating coats of their own are more than welcome to do so at any point, whether it is bringing the coats inside the store or simply leaving them out at the rack.

“All we are trying to do is be the hands and feet of Jesus,” she said. “That is all we want to do.”