Lane Weinberg: Thanks a ‘Bundle’

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Salem attorney Lane Weinberg wraps up fifth successful winter coat drive

Nobody should have to be cold in the winter, especially not kids.

For the fifth year in a row, attorney Lane Weinberg has brought a little warmth to a lot of people.

Weinberg, 52, a private-practice attorney who lives and works in Salem, is wrapping up his fifth-annual Bundle Up Coat Drive, a not-quite-solo effort to collect winter coats and jackets for less-fortunate men, women and children and deliver them to local charities including Family Building Blocks and Northwest Human Services. Although Weinberg started collecting coats on his own late in 2007, the drive has grown considerably over the last five winters, so much that he’s no longer able to handle it by himself.

“I had a client a few years ago, a single mother with two little sons, who was evicted from her apartment and told me she didn’t even have warm coats for her boys,” Lane Weinberg said. “This was a professional woman who’d worked hard all her life, but was laid off when her company downsized and had a terrible time finding work. It really opened my eyes to the fact the life can change for anyone, just like that.

“Her story inspired me to start a coat drive,” he added. “At first, I thought I’d just advertise in the local paper and collect a few coats in my office, and donate them to a church or something. But it really took off.”

By the end of the second year, Weinberg’s drive had its “Bundle Up” name and several partners, mostly retail locations that served as drop-off points. During that Winter 2008-09 drive, the attorney and his partners collected over 500 new and gently used coats; by the end of Winter 2009-10, it was some 25 local businesses and civic groups serving as drop-off locations, and over 1,000 coats collected.

By the time Bundle Up concludes its annual drive on Jan. 27, Weinberg estimates that the 2011-12 campaign – now boasting 55 different drop-off locations – will have netted over 5,000 coats and jackets, including “many new coats for children,” the attorney said. Some of the collected outerwear will be donated to local churches, although most will find its way to Family Building Blocks – a private, nonprofit crisis relief nursery serving Oregon’s Marion and Polk counties – and Northwest Human Services, a Salem-based nonprofit agency providing shelter, advocacy, crisis intervention and healthcare services.

“We can’t say enough about Lane Weinberg and the Bundle Up Coat Drive,” said Sandra Adar, a volunteer from Evening Star Community Services, another organization that receives Bundle Up donations annually. “So many people have benefitted from this. It’s a terrific example of the generous and triumphant human spirit, and Mr. Weinberg should be commended for making it happen.”

“This has been a pretty rough winter in the Pacific Northwest,” Adar added. “A lot of people, including a lot of children, would be pretty cold and miserable if it wasn’t for Lane Weinberg and the Bundle Up Coat Drive.”

Weinberg is not entirely comfortable accepting such praise, especially considering the eye-opening experiences that led him to start the coat drive in the first place.

“I certainly didn’t do this for adoration,” the attorney said. “I really found it shocking when I realized that economic circumstances can change for anyone in an instant, and that led me to understand how many people – people just like you and me – were down on their luck in these very trying economic times. No matter how secure you think you are, believe me … any one of us could find ourselves in dire straits in no time flat.

“Nobody should have to be cold in the winter, especially not kids,” Lane Weinberg added. “This is a basic necessity, right up there with food and shelter. I might not be able to fix every problem from every person in Salem, but of nothing else, at least I can help a few people stay warm.”

About Lane Weinberg
Lane Weinberg, 52, is a private-practice attorney specializing in family law in Spokane, Washington, where he lives with his wife of 21 years, Margaret, and the couple’s two children. A member and former president of the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana, he’s the founder of the Bundle Up Coat Drive, one of the most successful annual coat drives in Spokane. A graduate of the University of Washington’s School of Law, Weinberg enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time.

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