Coats for Kids celebrates 33 years

GENESEE COUNTY — The Salvation Army, ABC12, WJRT, WIOG 102.5 FM Radio, Suski Chevrolet Buick and Skaff Carpet are celebrating 33 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.

Last year Genesee County schools were closed for an average 12 days, as Flint and the surrounding communities were hit with 85.3 inches of snow and bitter temperatures as low as -12 degrees.

The children that needed to walk to school ran the high risk of their body temperature dropping that could reduce their heart rate, promote loss of coordination and create confusion, making it difficult to learn in the classroom.

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 October 1, 2019! Last year more than 800 children were given the gift of warmth.

This year we anticipate the need to be much greater. We need your help in collecting all sizes of coats. The most ask for coat sizes are adult medium to XXL, as many children wear the larger sizes.

An estimated 23 percent of children live in working families with low incomes who are struggling to make ends meet.

Children living below poverty, 18 and under, in Genesee County average 26 percent compared to the State of Michigan with 19.6 percent.

Help keep a child warm this winter by donating a gently used or new coat beginning October 1 through November 8. Genesee County 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, Genesee Valley Mall, Miracle-Ear, Hurley Medical Center, 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 donated by Landaal Packaging, a10 year valued partner, for boxes in Genesee County and Two Men and a Truck donated boxes for Mid-Michigan Coats for Kids.

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 Street. Registration begins:

Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beecher Corps, 1475 W. Coldwater Rd

Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Flint Citadel, 211 W. Kearsley St.

Oct. 24 extended hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Flint Citadel, 211 W. Kearsley St.

Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Flint Citadel, 211 W. Kearsley St.

Required Documentation for 2019

Michigan I.D. and Social Security Cards for ALL adults in the household. CASE SUMMARY FROM DHHS WILL BE ACCEPTED AS PROOF OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

Proof of dependents in the home – Birth Certificates and Social Security Cards. Must be parents or provide proof of legal guardianship. CASE SUMMARY FROM DHHS WILL BE ACCEPTED AS BIRTH RECORD AND SOCIAL SECURITY CARD

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. SALVATION ARMY WILL PRINT WATER OR CONSUMERS ENERGY BILLS ON SITE, IF NEEDED

Proof of Income for the last 30 days – Pay stubs, Child Support Statement, Social Security, SSI, SSDI, Unemployment/Workman’s Comp, etc. NOTICE OF CASE ACTION (from DHHS) WILL BE ACCEPTED AS INCOME STATEMENT (statement cannot be more than 6 months old)

Details: 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.