Coats for Kids sees greater need this winter

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Shelly Birkelo
Thursday, September 26, 2013

JANESVILLE—Coats for Kids isn't just for children, anymore.

“Coats for Kids has really become coats for everyone," said Lindi Paull, co-chairwoman of the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary effort.

Adults who have children with them can get coats, too.

“We try to serve every single person we possibly can who has a need for the basics of winter wear,” she said.

The auxiliary this week launched its annual Coats for Kids drive.

Auxiliary members have distributed red collection barrels to more than 60 sites throughout northern Rock County.

New and gently used coats, mittens, hats, scarves, snow pants and warm winter wear will be collected through Monday, Oct. 14. Distribution is Saturday, Oct. 26.

No adult dress coats, no coats with broken zippers and no lightweight and summer clothing will be accepted.

The auxiliary is expecting more demand for coats based on the rising number of people seeking Salvation Army services this year, Paull said.

Last year, the auxiliary distributed 693 coats, an increase from the 620 coats given away in 2011, Paull said.

“It goes up every year, and we try to serve as many people—children and adults—as we possibly can,” she said.

The auxiliary has never had to turn away anyone, Paull said.

"The program has distributed more than 16,000 coats and winter-wear items to more than 3,400 needy children and adults in North Rock County in the last five years thanks to the faithful support of our community that allows us to continue this worthwhile project for which we are deeply grateful," she said.

Along with the growing demand for coats has been the need for more large-sized coats, Paull said.

“We have a lot more larger people and a lot of kids who take large sizes, so we have to have adult coats for children and always have a need for the triple X and quad X coats,'' she said.

Anyone needing a coat and warm winter wear is welcome to the giveaway. Recipients will register that day by providing proof of residency. Children must be present at the time of distribution. All items are free, clean and available to all ages, Paull said.

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