BlackburnNews.com file photo. (Photo by Mike James)

Operation Cover-Up Changes Hands

The Salvation Army is taking over Chatham-Kent’s annual winter coat drive.

After 30 years at the helm of Operation Cover-Up, the local United Way is passing the torch.

CEO Karen Kirkwood-Whyte tells BlackburnNews.com they can’t continue to provide direct services in all of their programs.

“[It’s] an opportunity for us to streamline some of the direct services that we’re providing to the community and to hand them off to organizations that may be better suited to provide these programs,” she says.

Operation Cover-Up began as one of the first direct services offered by the United Way of Chatham-Kent in 1986. Since then Kirkwood-Whyte says they’ve collected over 54,000 donations of used coats. But she’s confident The Salvation Army will continue delivery of the program with success.

“Captain Stephanie Watkinson met with us a couple of weeks ago. We talked about the transfer of the program and they’re going to retain the name,” says Kirkwood-Whyte, adding details of this year’s drive will be announced by The Salvation Army in the next few months. “With the number of changes that have taken place in the format of the program in the last couple of years, it’s just a logical step.”

-With files from Matt Weverink