MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Coats for Kids campaign in progress

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Chances are your closets contain coats your kids have outgrown. Maybe you may have some you don’t often wear very often. Most of us probably have extra scarves and mittens. Why not put them to good use and help those who are about to face a Dayton winter without protection from the cold?

It’s been 40 years since former chief meteorologist Carl Nichols of WDTN-TV spearheaded Carl’s Coats for Kids, the terrific project that collects and distributes coats and accessories to needy folks in the Miami Valley. Since the campaign’s inception, Coats for Kids has collected and distributed more than 600,000 coats and winter wear for less fortunate kids and adults throughout the region.

Nichols retired in 2009 after working at WDTN for more than 30 years. He’s not surprised his project continues to grow. “I say this all the time, I think it’s [successful] because of the people of the Miami Valley,” said Day, in an interview on the station’s website. “When I was doing this, the people who were giving, and even the people we helped, probably have kids now, even grandkids. So hopefully they can continue the tradition of donating. I think it’s a give-give all the way around. "

How it works

Hats off (hopefully, warm ones) to the project’s generous sponsors: LCNB National Bank, Walmart and Catholic Social Services. In-kind partners include Cintas Corporation and RUSH Transportation and Logistics.

The campaign runs through Oct. 13 and you’re asked to take new or washable coats and winter accessories to any of the sponsor locations and place them in the Coats for Kids collection barrels. The Cintas Corporation then launders the items and the folks at RUSH will transport them, both at no charge.

“Rush Transportation is a family business and began our involvement with Coats for Kids over 20 years ago” says the company’s president Ashley Von Derau. “We handle all of the transportation and logistics for the coats, collecting them from the drop-off locations that WDTN has set up around the community. We’re looking forward to a lot of donations this year.”

Over the years, Von Derau has had a chance to see kids and families receive donations. “It’s a great experience to provide for those getting ready for a harsh winter and those in need,” she notes.

You may be surprised to learn that although coats are always needed, it’s actually winter accessories that go the fastest. And although the project is called “Coats for Kids,” adults are also served each year.

Here’s what they need

  • Jackets, coats for men, women and children, preferably new or those that can be washed.
  • Hats and caps
  • Gloves
  • Mittens
  • Scarves

Items can be dropped off at these LCNB Bank locations:

  • 9605 Dayton-Lebanon Pike, Centerville
  • 2705 Far Hills Ave., Dayton
  • 522 South Commerce St., Lewisburg
  • 9 N. Main St., Waynesville
  • 525 W. Central Ave., Springboro
  • 225 W. Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, Brookville
  • 110 West Main St., Eaton
  • 1697 North Barron St., Eaton
  • 30 W Park Place, Oxford
  • 4441 Marie Dr., Middletown

Other ways to help:

  • For the first time, monetary donations are being accepted that will go towards purchasing new coats and winter accessories. A $20 donation will provide a new coat for a child in need. To make a financial donation see
  • WDTN’s “Buckeye Blast” will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Day Air Ballpark. A portion of the proceeds raised that evening will help purchase new coats and winter accessories.With this being our 40th year we wanted to do something special for the Miami Valley for all they’ve done for so many throughout the years,” says Melissa Jones, Vice President and General Manager of WDTN and Dayton’s CW. “WDTN’s Buckeye Blast is the perfect event to have some fun while also raising money for this important community initiative.”
  • Walmart will be donating $10,000 to Catholic Social Services in celebration of 40 years of WDTN and Dayton’s CW Coats for Kids campaign. Walmart will also hold a Coats for Kids drive during the weekends of Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 at select Miami Valley Walmart locations.

Do you need a coat?

WDTN’s creative director Jason Doyle says his station is working closely with Catholic Social Services, Rush Transportation and Logistics and will be delivering coats and winter accessories on Friday, Nov. 3 to a number of local organizations which will then distribute them to those in need.

Those organizations are:

  • Catholic Social Services of The Miami Valley
  • St. Vincent DePaul
  • House of Bread
  • Miami Valley Child Development Services
  • University of Dayton’s Echo Program

Says Doyle: “We’ll do everything we can to get these important winter coats and accessories to every single person who may need them.”

For a complete list of drop-off locations, or to find out more information on the Walmart Coats for Kids drives and Distribution Day, visit If you have additional questions, call 937-293-2101.


Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith:

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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