Anderson statue decked out in winter clothing for those in need

ANDERSON, SC – Even with dangerously cold temperatures outside, it’s a warm gesture from the people of Anderson that is making a big difference for those in need.

Sandra Coffman is one of those people.

It was early on New Year’s Day when Coffman drove over to the Whitner Statue in front of the courthouse, to drop off six winter jackets.

She placed each of them on the statue for the homeless to take, in order to stay warm outside.

“Folks needed those coats,” she said. “When I was putting them up someone walked by and said ‘I’m going to go tell them there are coats here.’ So I don’t know who they are, but my heart says there are a lot of people here that need it.”

Putting winter weather gear on the statue downtown is a tradition in Anderson, and it hasn’t gone unappreciated.

“I actually cried when I got it that day,” said Mary Ann Burril.

Burril, a frequent visitor at the local Salvation Army, told 7 News Monday that she noticed the statue draped with clothing a couple of weeks ago.

When she figured out that the clothing was for the taking, she went over and found a pink hat, gloves and a scarf that she could use.

“I actually cried when I got it that day,” she explained, adding that the winter accessories didn’t just keep her warm, but also warmed her heart.

“Every time I put it on, I put it on with pride. And I know that there’s someone out there that may not directly love me, but their love is felt every day when I put this on.”

According to those working at the Salvation Army, the need for winter clothing for the homeless is great.

“We can provide the cots and the mats and anything like that, but what we’re looking for is help with that warm clothing,” said Heather Dolby, a Captain there.

Still, it’s thanks to those like Coffman that one less person will have to face the winter weather, without something as simple as a coat.

“Two years ago I didn’t have much and I needed people to help me,” said Coffman. “And I’m in a position now where I can help other people. And it means a lot.”