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Stateline Strong: Koats For Kids

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It can be easy to take certain things in life for granted, like warm clothing in the winter.  But, those items don’t come cheap, which is why the Salvation Army needs your help.

“Anyone in the community can come and get a coat,” said Salvation Army Community Relations Director Diane Tolcher.

The agency has been collecting winter gear for those in need for nearly 30 years.  Their annual Koats for Kids event drums up donations for families who can’t afford new coats, hats, and gloves.  Despite the name, the winter items aren’t restricted to children.

“We are actually collecting coats for infants all the way up to adults,” said Tolcher.  “What we’re asking is that either coats are new, or gently used.  We’re asking that they have all the buttons, the zippers work, and there’s not any stains.”

This year, the Salvation Army changed the way they collect the coats.  Instead, of putting barrels out for donations as they’ve done in years past.  They’re asking donors to meet them at their big white truck at the northwest mall entrance between JcPenney and the old Bergner’s.

“People were generous,” said Tolcher.  “But, we wanted to add that little personal touch.  When people give us a coat, we wanted to be able to say ‘Thank you.’  So, that’s really the meaning behind this whole new way of doing things differently.”

Volunteers were out at CherryVale Mall last weekend to collect donations.  But, bad weather slowed them down.

“It was wet, damp, cold and we only received about 175 coats.  Our goal this year is 1,500 coats.  We’re hoping people bring out those coats.”

Donations can be dropped off from 10am – 6pm Saturday and Sunday.  The items will be distributed on Oct. 25th at the Salvation Army Temple on South Rockford Avenue.  Those in-need can pick them up from 9am – 4pm.

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