coat racks

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JEFFERSON CITY - Businesses in Jefferson City are helping the less fortunate this winter season. Several businesses have agreed to put coat racks in front of their stores where anyone can take a coat for free, or leave one for someone to take.

Signs on the various coat racks said things like "Need a coat? Take one. Want to help? Leave one."

Some of the businesses that participated included Yani's Coffee Zone, Cricket Wireless, Encore Department Store, Downtown Diner, Heads Up Spa and Salon. 

A women named Brooke Hewitt started the movement with a single post on Facebook. Hewitt said she saw a post where people from another part of the country were doing a similar coat drive. She posted about it on a Jefferson City Facebook page asking if businesses would participate. 

Hewitt said she expected maybe one business to reply, but she received a surprising amount of responses. 

Now she is driving around town providing coats and coat racks for businesses to use throughout the winter months. 

Elyse Anderson is one owner of Downtown Diner. She said the diner plans on having a coat rack out until people stop needing them. 

Anderson said she thinks the project will really help some people in the Jefferson City community. 

"I think this will be a great thing. There is a great need. We have quite a few homeless people, especially right in the downtown area," Anderson said. 

She also said she feels it will help families in the area because parents can be sure their kids do not have to go without a coat. 

Anderson said one man left a coat on the rack in Yani's Coffee Zone and was excited to see someone wearing it later that day walking down Missouri Boulevard.

All of the businesses participating are volunteering to help, so there is no set amount of time that the coat racks will be available to people.