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Coat, Blanket Drive Hosted By Local AVF
AVF Coat and Blanket Drive
American Veterans First is hosting its coat and blanket drive; this photo shows a prior collection effort at The River Christian Community Church in Oakdale. Photo Contributed

American Veterans First, AVF, is growing and expanding its operations with new volunteers, new directors and new collaborations with other groups. Since their formation in 2016 they have assisted with a variety of needs within the veteran community. That focus has continued as AVF begins a ‘Coat and Blanket Drive’ once again for those in need.

It is that time of year as the weather turns and cooler temperatures are upon us. Oakdale resident Duke Cooper, one of the driving forces behind the AVF organization, said the group is now collecting new to gently used coats, jackets, blankets, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, socks and hygiene products.

People that would like to help can drop off the items at the AVF facility, 6436 Oakdale Road, Riverbank.

A new organization, Against My Will, is also hosting a Vendor Fair and Fundraiser at the AVF headquarters on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The organization assists those that are victims of human trafficking and sexual assault.

They will be accepting donations for the Coat and Blanket Drive at the event as well.

Shirley Serrato is the new Director of Outreach for AVF and is also a volunteer for the event on Saturday.

Serrato shared that Against My Will has only been around for a few months and they are passionate about helping victims by providing services.

The event will be held outdoors in the parking lot at AVF and will host several vendors, a raffle, face painting, pumpkins, and as Serrato stated, it is designed to be a fun family oriented event.