‘Coats for Kids’ kicks off 19th annual campaign

Local News

Each day, thousands of children in Fort Wayne head to the bus stop or out to recess without a good winter coat. That’s an issue the Coats for Kids campaign hopes to once again help alleviate.

Now in its 19th year, the Coats for Kids campaign collects new and gently-used coats for children around the community. 

The Volunteer Center organizes the effort each year with help from the Fort Wayne Fire Department, the YMCA, and the City of Fort Wayne. 

“This is one of the most rewarding programs the Volunteer Center is blessed to be a part of,” said Ani Etter, Volunteer Center Executive Director. “The Fort Wayne community is very generous, and it is heartwarming to know that neighborhood children will be well prepared to face the winter weather.”

To date, more than 60,000 coats have been delivered to about 80 area schools and social service agencies. In recent years, as many as 5,000 have been delivered annually. 

Collections started Tuesday and will continue through Sunday, December 2. 

Donations can be dropped off at several locations, including Peerless Cleaners, Kroger, Adams Radio Group, and Lee’s Famous Recipe. For a full list of drop off locations click here.

Cash donations are also welcome and appreciated. According to the Volunteer Center, $25 will provide a new coat, hat, scarf, and mittens to a child in need. Secure online donations can be submitted here.

Mayor Tom Henry is kicking off the campaign this year by distributing coats to the children at MLK Montessori School Tuesday morning. 

Fort Wayne Firefighters, YMCA team members, and other community volunteers will deliver the rest of the coats to schools and social service agencies during the week of December 17, before the holiday break.

For more information about the Volunteer Center and its programs, visit its website.

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