Imagine facing a Miami Valley winter without a warm coat or gloves. With more time in our houses during the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to clean out our closets and make sure the items we aren’t using will find a good new home.
About this time of year, I begin getting calls from our readers asking where they can donate winter garments to the needy.
Carl’s Coats for Kids, the popular campaign now in its 38th year, was originally spearheaded by former chief meteorologist Carl Nichols of WDTN-TV. Since its inception, the drive has collected and distributed over 500,000 coats and winter accessories to less fortunate children and adults in the Miami Valley.
“This important community initiative has been going strong for nearly 40 years and it’s because the residents of the Miami Valley step up year after year to help others in need,” said Joe Abouzeid, vice president and general manager of the project’s sponsor, WDTN and Dayton’s CW. “We’re proud to work with our partners because no person should go without a coat for the cold winter ahead.”
It all runs smoothly thanks to sponsors LCNB National Bank, Grismer Tire & Auto Service Centers and Catholic Social Services. In-kind partners include Cintas Corporation and Rush Transportation and Logistics.
You may be surprised to learn that although coats are always needed, it’s actually winter accessories that go the fastest.
Here’s what they need
- Jackets, coats for men, women and children, preferably new or those that can be washed.
All you have to do is gather up your donations and take them to any Coats for Kids collection container before Oct. 22. The Cintas Corporation will then launder the coats and Rush Transportation and Logistics will transport the coats at no charge.
“We’re excited that we’ve added 17 new barrel locations with the addition of a new partner, Grismer Tire & Auto Service Centers, so we’re hoping for even more coats and winter accessories this year,” says the station’s Jason Doyle, who coordinates the major effort each year.
Do you need a coat?
Doyle says they’d hoped to return to a normal Distribution Day in 2021, but the current rise in COVID cases makes it difficult to hold an event where hundreds of people would gather in a pretty tight space.
“We feel it’s in the community’s best interest that we return to the way we distributed coats and winter accessories in 2020,” Doyle explains. “We’re working closely with our partners — Catholic Social Services and Rush Transportation and Logistics — and we’ll be delivering coats and winter accessories on Thursday, Nov. 5 to a number of local organizations that will distribute them in a more controlled effort to those in need.”
Those organizations will include Catholic Social Services of The Miami Valley, St. Vincent DePaul, House of Bread, Miami Valley Child Development Services and University of Dayton’s Echo Program. Others may be added at a later time.
For a complete list of drop-off locations, plus future information on Distribution Day, visit www.wdtn.com/coats-for-kids.
Vicki Braun, director of Oak Tree Corner Center for Grieving Children, writes to thank our readers for their generosity. “The response to our mention in your column continues,” she says. “We have received many craft supplies and several magazines. We are using those magazines in a project with Key Bank in their Make a Difference Day.
“We are fortunate to live in such a generous community. And we are extra-fortunate that our newspaper values the work of so many wonderful nonprofit agencies. Thanks from all of us at Oak Tree Corner.”
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
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: email@example.com.
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.