Coats 4 Kids collects winter gear for children in need

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Winter coats and other warm clothes are being collected for children across West Virginia this month.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Junior Day of Service, the Education Alliance AmeriCorps is hosting a coat drive called Coats4Kids through Jan. 17.

Emily Pratt, director of federal programs and communications for the Education Alliance, said new and gently used coats, hats, scarves, sweatshirts and gloves will be accepted at drop off locations across the state.

“I think it’s important to make sure our kids are taken care of and that they have what they need to stay harm, be happy and strive with what’s going on today,” Pratt said. “It’s a great opportunity for people to make a difference in their local community.”

Last year, Pratt said they had an overwhelming amount of donations during times of COVID-19 when some families couldn’t afford expensive winter gear.

“Our goal was to gather 400 coats,” she said. “They ended up donating 3,500 hundreds for kids across the state. This year we’re hoping to see that same impact.”

Last year, more than 260,000 coats were distributed across North America to children and adults in need.

The event coincides with MLK Day.

“Just like Martin Luther King did, it’s a way to really give back, so we wanted to do something around the state where people could make a difference” Pratt said.

Financial donations are also being collected online and by check to buy winter gear for West Virginia nonprofits in need.

For a complete list of drop-off locations or to donate online, CLICK HERE.

The Coats4Kids drive is part of a national effort through One Warm Coat.

This year will mark the 27th celebration of the annual service event since Congress designated the MLK holiday the first ever National Day of Service and charged AmeriCorps with leading this effort.

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