The annual Coats for Kids collection at Schnucks Supermarket in Cape Girardeau brought in what store manager Dennis Marchi estimated to be 3,500 to 4,000 items of warm clothing for distribution by the Salvation Army.
The coats, gloves and other items will be distributed beginning Thursday during the Salvation Army's annual Thanksgiving Day meal, which will be served from noon until 2 p.m. at the local mission at 701 Good Hope St.
Many of the articles donated were for adults and the program has expanded to go beyond the needs of children, said Major Ben Stillwell, director with his wife, Major Beth Stillwell, of the Cape Girardeau mission.
"It is really coats for the community and, in a very nice way, it is not just for here," Stillwell said. "Our Chaffee store gives these items out as well."
Donations were strong all day at Schnucks as volunteers, including personalities from the Mississippi River Radio group, helped store the coats in a trailer donated by Pepsi, Marchi said.
"We are getting better and better each year on getting it organized," Marchi said.
After Thursday, those needing the coats can apply at the Salvation Army mission and they will be given a voucher and directed to the thrift store at 416 Morgan Oak St., Stillwell said.