Former Greene County Legislature Chairman Frank Stabile Jr. had one big point he repeated time and again: The county would be virtually helpless without the work and time donated by volunteers.

Indeed, Stabile didn’t reserve his praise just for their dedication but also for their ingenuity. If there was a way to get a job done without costing taxpayer money and with a minimum of fuss, you could count on Greene County’s volunteers.

More praiseworthy is the involvement of anonymous donors and the addition of Columbia County.

Catskill Village Trustee Natasha Law recognized a need in the community for warm winterwear and started a coat drive to serve both Catskill and Hudson. Coats from the next round of the drive were scheduled to become available Monday afternoon at Dutchman’s Landing in Catskill and Seventh Street Park in Hudson.

Law’s first clothesline of coats went up Nov. 5 in Catskill, followed by another installation Nov. 8 in Hudson. Law put out about 60 coats at each location. They went fast, showing without a doubt the need for warm clothing on both sides of the river.

This was a true humanitarian project that covered two counties and two communities, and it could not have succeeded without help and donations from people who neither sought publicity nor asked for anything in return. One donor even purchased a shopping cart full of new coats to contribute.

We’re aware that COVID-19 is causing big problems for local residents facing unemployment and deficits in town and county budgets. But the work of everyone who led the coat drive or remained behind the scenes provided a little warmth in what could be a long, cold winter.

Frank Stabile Jr. would be proud.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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