Operation Cover Up needs winter clothing

Homeless • Area fire departments drive to help needy families ends Dec. 31.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's not too late to take part in Operation Cover Up at a fire department near you.

Fire departments from Ogden to Payson and from Park City to Tooele are collecting gently used blankets, hats, coats and gloves for the needy. But the annual collection program ends Dec. 31.

"This is a great time to donate," said Jasen Asay, spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department. "A lot of people will be getting new coats and gloves for Christmas. So, if you've got extra winter clothing that is gently used and in good shape, there are a lot of people in need this year."

Operation Cover Up began 21 years ago when Salt Lake City Fire Battalion Chief Tom Roberson and Unified Fire Authority Capt. Fitz Petersen saw a need among homeless and needy families, Asay said.

And this year, the need is as great as ever, evidenced by overflowing shelters.

"It's not just adults who are in need of warm clothing," he said. "It's children, as well. There are many homeless families in need."

Operation Cover Up will distribute collected items to The Road Home, the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services, Shriners Hospitals for Children, The Christmas Box House and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Holladay.

Christopher Smart