COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The holiday season is often marked by giving gifts, sometimes to people you don’t know. As the Georgia weather gets colder and the leaves change color, its clear to see winter is only weeks away. However, some Columbus populations may have a harder time facing the cold than others.

In an effort to help local homeless and others in need, All About Fitness Family LLC and its Lakebottom ministry, All About Brother and Sister, are launching a coat drive which will run throughout the holiday season.

“We see people sleeping around Columbus, Georgia, even when it’s cold and were just…headed away from a Starbucks or heading home to our warm homes,” said Dewayne Webb, founder of All About Fitness Family and an Army veteran.

This year’s coat drive is the first one Webb’s organization has ever done. Unlike other national operations which aim to provide those in need with essential products during the holiday season, Webb explained his coat drive allows folks to see the impact of their donations on a local level.

He said, “[We get to] see those funds right here in the Chattahoochee Valley where we live, work, play and eat.”

According to Webb, the donation drive will be taking new or gently-used coats, zip-ups, hoodies and pullovers. They will also take some sweaters, as long as they are warm enough to withstand the weather and don’t have holes.

Gently-used items would be hole-free and in wearable condition, as Webb explained, “something you would wear.”

Webb urged community members to get involved with helping other locals in need this holiday season.

He said, “Instead of driving by, instead of walking by, instead of wishing … find a local organization where you can make an impact while you’re in the valley.”

Those interested in donating to the coat drive may take their contributions to multiple locations across Columbus. There are drop off points at Columbus Karate Academy International on Milgen Road and Mind Body N Soul Fitness on Warm Springs Road.

Additionally, Webb and the All About Brother and Sister Ministry will be collecting donations at their Lakebottom Park fitness classes every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Those with donations can find Webb near the bathrooms, where fitness class participants will meet.

“We’ve collected a few coats so far, but we’re hoping to collect more,” said Webb. He added, “Our goal is to … give the gift of warmth for the cold season that is already upon us.”

A flyer for the coat drive. Interested parties may also bring donations to Mind Body N Soul Fitness on Warm Springs Road. (Dewayne Webb)