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Posted: 2:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017

Coat exchange in England helps keep homeless warm

Thornproof / Flickr

By Bob D'Angelo

Cox Media Group National Content Desk


A paramedic in the United Kingdom who was concerned about the homeless suffering through freezing weather set up a coat exchange outside of Colchester Library, and her act of kindness has gone viral.

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Fay Sibley told EssexLive that she became concerned about the homeless people living in her neighborhood after weather forecasters predicted up to 4 inches of snow. On Jan. 8, she decided to place a clothing rack outside the Colchester Library with a note that read "Need a coat? Take one. Want to help? Leave one."

Three full rails of coats were donated that day, EssexLive reported, and Sibley’s photographs of the exchange have been shared to social media and have gotten the attention of the area’s representative to Parliament.

"I wish I could take credit for the idea but I saw a similar thing on a Yorkshire Facebook page,” the 30-year-old said. "I shared the post and started thinking what a wonderful idea it was, and why can't we do this elsewhere? I just decided to do it.

"Then I took a picture of what I've done and popped it on Facebook and asked people to share it," she told ABC News.

Sibley called the response as "incredible", with Will Quince, MP for Colchester one of many to share her pictures.

"I have been overwhelmed and hopefully we will get even more momentum," Sibley told EssexLive.

Sibley's older sister Jo has been helping her collect coats to be added to the rack daily, ABC News reported.

"She had a little idea where she thought maybe it'll stay there for a couple of days, and I think it's actually amazing to see how quickly it's grown," Jo told ABC News.

Sibley said the coat exchange takes very little time and helps people who are in need.

"It takes so little time investment for me," she said. "My main hope is that people think they can go do this too. It's a simplistic pay-it-forward gesture. It's something we can all do."

Jo Bailey Jo Sibley Colchester's #coatexchange has made it all the way to the USA!!!

Posted by Fay Sibley on Friday, January 13, 2017

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