DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Friday is distribution day for WDTN’s annual Coats for Kids campaign. More than 2,000 coats and accessories were donated this year to help people in need.

For 39 years, Coats for Kids has been a tradition for WDTN, helping keep people warm in the winter.

It’s just as much of a tradition for RUSH Transportation as the driving force behind delivering the coats.

“It’s great to get ahead of the season and give back to the community that we’ve been a part of for over 41 years,” says Ashley Von Derau, President of RUSH Transportation.

RUSH driver Rick Bates spent Friday delivering them to organizations throughout the Miami Valley like House of Bread.

“When we had those colder temperatures a few weeks ago, we had several people come in asking for coats,” states Melodie Bennett, Executive Director for House of Bread. “We’re always so grateful when we can meet their basic need. And in the winter, basic need is a coat.”

Catholic Social Services partnered with WDTN once again to meet the need before the temperatures drop.

“Every morning I drive up this street, and I look out here at our pantry, and we’ll see folks lined up as early as 8 o’clock in the morning, waiting for another hour to get in. And when you look out the window in the cold winter months and see that people aren’t just adequately dressed, how could you not want to try to help them?” states Mike Lehner, Director of Marketing and Development for Catholic Social Services.

Miami Valley Child Development Center also received some coats.

“We serve some of the most vulnerable children in our community. We are the head start agency,” states Berta Velilla, CEO of MVCDC. “With inflation, the cost of everything, it’s just going up. And knowing that our families will not need to worry as much about carving some money to save for coats and keep their children warm.”

“Just to look at those bright eyes, and say I got something for you, it’s going to be amazing,” states Nicole Hall, who manages the facility.

Organizations were chosen based on need like East End Community Services.

“Our families are always struggling,” states Jan Lepore Jentleson. “There’s much less discretionary income. People can’t afford to buy anything new really. So we live on the generosity—our community lives on the generosity of others.”

If you need a coat, contact Catholic Social Services at 937-223-7217 ext. 2100.