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Bedford man's annual St. Francis House coat collection a success

Posted by Laura Franzini  November 18, 2012 03:08 PM

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John Dodge Coat Collection 2012.jpeg
Courtesy of Julie McCay Turner
John Dodge stands surrounded by donated coats in front of the sign advertising his winter outerwear collection on Saturday.

Bedford's John Dodge, 90, stood outside the Bedford Shopping Center Saturday collecting coats and winter outerwear to donate to Boston's St. Francis House, the largest day shelter in New England.

Dodge said he collected more than 300 coats this year, a new record, and more coats are still waiting to be sorted and counted in his garage.

Dodge has been holding the drive for more than 25 years, and said he's glad to be able to continue helping the shelter after so many years.

Founded in 1984, St. Francis House provides meals, showers, clothing, access to medical care, mail and ID services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and supported housing to poor and homeless men and women. The Boylston Street facility is open 365 days a year, and Dodge said it has one of the best records of getting homeless people back to work.

Laura Franzini can be reached at laura.franzini@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at laurafranzini.

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