Members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Bethesda surprised rector Stephanie Nagley with 140 winter coats in honor of her 60th birthday Jan. 20.
The plan was to give her 60 coats, one for each year of Nagley’s life. Instead, they more than doubled their goal.
It’s not that Nagley is an especially cold woman. The coats were donated in her name to the Bethesda Cares Clothing Closet to be given to the homeless.
Nagley said she was delighted with the gift.
“It was wonderful, it was thrilling, it was heartwarming and I was just so glad that my celebration would turn into a celebration for people who really could use a warm coat,” she said.
Susan Kirk, executive director of Bethesda Cares, said coats are always needed and would be given to the homeless her organization serves. She thought the birthday coat collection was a lovely idea.
“The church is one of our founding organizations and they thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be a wonderful way to honor our pastor,’ and we thought, ‘yeah, it is,’” Kirk said.