Coats for Kids celebrates 32 years

GENESEE COUNTY — The Salvation Army, ABC12, WJRT, WIOG 102.5 FM Radio, Suski Chevrolet Buick and Skaff Carpet are celebrating 32 years of Coats for Kids.

The goal of the program is to collect new and gently used coats to help keep Genesee County children warm and to protect them from Michigan’s harsh winter weather.

A child going to school without a coat on should not be anyone’s reality, but that could be the case for many kids in our community if not for the Coats for Kids annual coat drive kicking off this week.

Last year more than 700 children were given the gift of warmth. This year they anticipate the need to be much greater and need your help.

Health experts report even a 2-degree drop in body temperature results in reduced heart rate, loss of coordination, and confusion, children find it difficult to learn. For most, a warm coat solves the problem. But, an estimated 58 percent of Flint residents under age 18 live below the poverty line compared to a national average of 18 percent, for these families, a warm winter coat is a budget “extra.”

Many children walk to school in just a hoodie. Last year temperatures reached -17 below zero and the high was 20 degrees for most of January and could again this winter.

Help keep a child warm this winter by donating a gently used or new coat now through Nov. 7. Local area collection sites include; ABC 12, Troy Cleaners at all of their locations, Skaff Carpet, The Salvation Army Business Office, Suski Chevrolet/Buick, Ralph Burgess,DDS in Flint, Baker College of Flint (Student Center), Oreck Vacuums at Somerset Town Center, U of M Public Safety, Genesee Valley Mall, Miracle-Ear, Guido’s Premium Pizza, Play It Again Sports, Anytime Fitness, Hurley Medical Center, City of Flint Police Dept. and all Biggby Coffee Shops in Genesee County.

“Special “Thanks” to Troy Cleaners for picking up and cleaning the coats at no charge! Each gently used donated coat is carefully sorted, cleaned and repaired if needed by Troy Cleaners and then inventoried to assure it will reach a Genesee County child in need,” said Major Randy Hellstrom, Regional Coordinator for The Salvation Army Genesee/Shiawassee Regional Command. “Collection boxes were provided at no cost by Landaal Packaging and their valued partnership, again this year, makes all the difference!”

Parents in need of coats and Christmas toys or food for their children should apply to The Salvation Army Flint Citadel Corps at 211 W. Kearsley Street, downtown Flint at the corner of Kearsley and Beach streets. Registration begins:

• Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Oct. 17 extended hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Required Documentation for 2018

Michigan I.D. and Social Security Cards for ALL adults in the household. Proof of dependents in the home – Birth Certificates and Social Security Cards. Must be parents or provide proof of legal guardianship.

Current Bills for the last 30 days – Bills must contain the name and address of the individual applying for assistance. Current bills include Rent, Mortgage, Water, Gas, Electric, Telephone, Cable, etc.

Proof of Income for the last 30 days – Pay stubs, Child Support Statement, Social Security, SSI, SSDI, Unemployment/Workman’s Comp, etc.

Visit for a complete list of collection sites. For additional information or to become a volunteer contact Lydia Sanchez-Roat, Volunteer and Event Coordinator at 810-600-4497. — G.G.

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