DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — More than 2,000 coats as well as winter accessories were handed out to roughly 655 families at the 36th annual Coats for Kids distribution day.
95 percent of donations were handed out, and the rest will be given to an area shelter.
With all of the devastation the Miami Valley has been through over the past year, organizers say now the need is greater than ever.
“There is great need because of that really unfortunate tornado outbreak that we had,” says Laura Roesch, CEO of Catholic Social Services. “Starting from scratch again can be overwhelming. And now that it’s getting cold, that might be the first time that’s in the top of mind.”
Friday, the Miami Valley’s donations went directly to those who’ve fallen on hard times.
“A lot of kids need coats — can’t afford them,” states Loretta Richardson of Dayton who stopped by the giveaway.
“I was making a lot of money in the car factory, and then I broke my arm so I can’t work right now,” says Andrew Tompkins of Dayton. “My son already got his coat and my baby’s mama already got her coat.”
He was one the the hundreds who packed the tent outside of Catholic Social Services, lined up for a coat and winter accessories.
“Hats, gloves, scarves, everything to stay warm for winter, for children, for adults, for men and for women,” lists Roesch.
The distribution comes just in the nick-of-time as temperatures start to drop.
“First day that it’s really cold out — I know this is the first time I wore my coat today, so it’s nice to see them getting their coats,” says Damon Dues with the Wright State baseball team, volunteering at the distribution. “Such a good feeling giving back and just knowing that you’re helping the community in a positive way.”
The annual giveaway helps ease the cost of bundling up in the winter even though it won’t ease the cold.
This is the 36th year for WDTN’s Coats for Kids campaign. Thanks to the community we’ve collected more than a half million coats and winter accessories over the years.