November 1st marked the start of the Annual 2023 Coats For Kids Drive sponsored by the Volunteer Center. Guest of Honor, Mayor Tom Henry, kicked off the campaign by distributing coats to the children at MLK Montessori School, 6001 South Anthony Blvd. on Thursday, November 9th.
This is the 24th year for Coats For Kids. The program traditionally provides more than 8,000 warm winter coats to local underserved children at neighboring schools. So far, over 88,000 coats have been delivered to over 125 schools and social service agencies in our area.
November 1st -30th, donations of new or gently used winter coats (children’s size 5 & above through adult sizes) are being collected at partner locations including Kroger, Peerless Cleaners, Volunteer Center, Sweetwater (main campus), YMCA (Fort Wayne, Huntington, Bluffton), Darlington Holiday Warehouse, Parkview Ortho Hospital, United Auto Workers Union Hall, MacAllister Rentals and IEBW 305 Union Hall.
Volunteer Center Executive Director Ani Etter states, “Coats for Kids is one of the most impactful programs the Volunteer Center coordinates. The need is real with 17.2% of children under age 18 in Allen County living in poverty. Many families are financially struggling and unable to meet basic needs. This is an opportunity for our generous community to help provide tangible help to a child in need. The Fort Wayne community is very giving and has always opened their hearts to support this cause.”
Cash donations are deeply appreciated and will contribute to the purchase of additional coats that can be bought in bulk and will be available into the new year. $25 will provide a new coat, hat, scarf, and mittens to a child in hardship. Secure online donations are accepted at volunteerfortwayne.org.
Other area partners include 21 Alive, Adams Radio Group, Berne Apparel, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Two Men and a Truck, and Go Home Mortgage. Volunteers from the Fort Wayne Fire Department, Volunteer Center, and YMCA will help deliver the coats to schools and social service agencies beginning the first week of December.
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