It’s Something to Buy Nothing and Give a Coat

I won’t be shopping on Friday with all those fools.

In fact, I’ll be participating in Buy Nothing Day on Friday, a peaceful way to protest the focus on commercialism at Christmas (and maybe watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special). I’ll also go through my coat closet to find something to donate to the Free Coat Exchange. The project is organized by Ted Loebenberg, a colorful character who always says, at our Breakfast of Champions events, that he runs a “multi-hundred dollar company.” With Ted, it’s not about money, but about making a difference.

He’s been doing a coat exchange in various cities for 15 years, but organized the first one in Louisville last year. He had two locations (at the Green Building downtown and in Radcliff) and collected and gave away 800 coats.

This year, there are seven locations and Ted is optimistically predicting the exchange of up to 4,000 coats. Best of all, there’s no cost and no cash involved. Here’s how it works — when the doors open at 10, you take the extra coats from your closet to one of the locations. All day, people in need are free to come in and pick up coats. At 1:30, Ted and his volunteers will welcome representatives from non-profit organizations to pick up coats.

“Most people have too much stuff,” Ted said. “We want the coat in your closet you haven’t worn in two years. We don’t want new coats. And we’re not opening early on Thursday night.”

Here’s a list of the locations:

The Green Building 732 East Market Street

Contact: Ted Loebenberg, 401.952.6566


Westport Baptist Church 9705 Westport Rd.

Contact: Kellie Johnston 502.425.2350 ext 117


Schmitt’s Florist parking lot 5050 Poplar Level Road

Contact: Russ Schmitt 502.969.8579


First Unitarian Church 809 S. Fourth St.

Contact: Kathy Gapsis 812.923.7696


Save-A-Lot Food Store 4148 Taylor Boulevard

Contact: Craig Oeswein 502.533.9483


St. Paul AME Church 1518 South 28th Street

Contact: Rev. Nachia Woods 502.436.7301


Evolve Consignments parking lot 2416 Frankfort Ave #2

Contact: Gerry Mattingly 502.690.6655