Warner winter coat drive underway

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UNVERSITY CITY, MO. (KTVI) – Operation Food Search got the first donation of coats from the USAgain recycling company as part of the Warner’s Warm-Up Coat Drive.  
USAgain Division Manager Tom Jacquin admitted he did not know how many coats were in all the boxes that filled a moving truck top to bottom.
“I did weigh them,” he said.  “There’s about 3,600 pounds of coats in there.”
USAgain donated to the drive run by former St. Louis Rams Quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda.  They lead the First Things First Foundation.
“Surprisingly, every year we collect about 15,000 coats,” said Foundation Program Director Jennifer Zink.  “Every year, we get all those coats out into the community.  We still have calls for more coats.”
Operation Food Search Executive Director Sunny Schaeffer said the need is greater than in any of her 18 years with the agency.
“Children sometimes are kept home, because it’s too cold to go out and go to school,” she explained.  “And other times, they go to school with no coat.”
The Warner’s left St. Louis in 2004.  They have been reaching out to the city ever since.
“They love St. Louis,” Zink said.  “So while there’s a need for coats, they will always come back and support the St. Louis Community.”
The drive goes through November 14, 2013.  Here is how you can donate.
For more information click on the Warner Warm-Up Coat Drive.

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  • Wade Larsen

    Helping people in need is wonderful, of course. But USAgain sells most of the clothes it collects overseas in Africa, where winter coats are generally never needed. So such items are far more valuable in terms of the PR they can generate for USAgain.

    Furthermore, I wonder if USAgain would ever donate the coats if there were no publicity attached to the giving. Didn’t someone once say “true generosity happens when nobody is watching”?

    I commend Mr. Warner and his First Things First Foundation for all the good they are doing. However, they might want to know that USAgain has been criticized by the media for some rather disturbing reasons. Reports going back a decade suggest that the for-profit company, to quote a Seattle TV news investigation, “…routinely pretended to be a charity so business owners wouldn’t ask for rent on the bin space.” (see reports, in my next comment)

    • Wade Larsen

      (My next comment)

      Worse, prosecutors in Denmark have tied USAgain to an alleged cult called the “Tvind Teachers Group” ― often shortened to ‘Tvind’ or ‘TG’. Five TG leaders are Interpol fugitives wanted in their native Denmark in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-fraud and embezzlement scheme.

      It’s likely that only USAgain’s top executives are TG members, none of whom are among those wanted by Danish authorities. The company’s laborers and local managers are probably just regular folks trying to hold down a job. But in the *text* of Part 1 of KIRO’s report, a former USAgain branch manager says she had been pressured to join the TG — reportedly an elite group within the broader Tvind organization.

      For further information, please view the two reports, below. To view a report, simply highlight a title, right-click it, then select “Search Google…”. A new tab should open in your Web-browser, showing search results for that title. The one you want should appear near or at the top of the results:

      Millions In Clothing Donations Diverted From Charity – kirotv

      Local Mayor Wants Red Bins Out – USAgain in Seattle – YouTube

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