Give a coat, win a furnace?

Donated winter coats pile up at Postma Heating and Cooling. The company has a contest running where each coat donated earns an entry into a contest to win a new furnace, and donations to Operation Cover Up Heavy Up took off.

Postma offers chance to win a furnace for every coat donation

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A new, installed Lennox furnace is quite a bribe.

That’s what Chatham’s Postma Heating and Cooling is offering to people who donate coats to the Salvation Army’s Operation Cover Up Heavy Up.

Caleb Postma, co-owner of the company, said each coat that’s donated to the drive qualifies the individual for a ballot to win a new high-efficiency furnace.

“It’s literally just a bribe,” Postma joked. “But we’re just getting the people of Chatham-Kent to do what they do.

“Chatham-Kent people always step up when asked,” he explained.

Postma explained he got the idea when he was out buying coats for employees and heard about problems relating to homelessness and high housing prices.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Postma said, adding people are dropping off coats even if they don’t need – or want – a new furnace.

“If that’s the case and that person’s name is drawn, we will donate the furnace to someone else in need,” he said.

Postma said he’s been getting so many coats that he’s had to juggle space to store them.

“Have you ever had that feeling when things are really taking off?” he asked.

Salvation Army Family Services Manager Allie Matthews said the partnership with Postma is much appreciated.

“The need for winter coats continues throughout the season,” Matthews explained, adding demand is up this year.

Matthews said that thanks to Postma, Operation Cover Up has been able to be extended beyond it’s usual four-week run that starts in October.

The current coat drive will run until Dec. 3, after which the draw will take place.

Donations can be dropped off at the company’s headquarters at 22132 Charing Cross Rd. in Chatham near Highway 401.

The only requirement for the furnace draw is that the winner must be located in Chatham-Kent and that the coats are either new or in very good condition.


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