Coats for Kids: Contactless event opens 36th annual drive

As temperatures drop outside, many kids are in need of winter coats.

Saturday, Nov. 14 marked the first "Coats for Kids" drop-off event; dozens of coats will make their way to kids in need this winter.

"It means a lot for families that otherwise may not have that other outer garment," said Sheree Dallas-Branch with The Salvation Army.

That's thanks to donations that were part of the 36th annual Coats for Kids drive.

"Families look forward to it, the community expects it and we’re happy this year despite the covid, that we’re able to still put this program together," Dallas-Branch said.

Volunteers collect coats for the 36th annual Coats for Kids drive

COVID-19 is creating a larger need for donations and the bins filled up quickly on Saturday. 

"Because of COVID, a lot of jobs have been lost, and so folks that have always been able to provide are finding themselves in a situation where they need a little help," said Dallas-Branch.

To help fill the increased need, one Wisconsinite donated roughly 75 coats. 

"We felt like there was definitely a need to donate coats given the certain circumstances," Andrew Bainbridge of Muskego said.

Volunteers collect coats for the 36th annual Coats for Kids drive

The pandemic is also changing the way coats are collected. 

"There are no buckets in-store at all this year, they are just doing drive-thru service only," Deanna Daniels with Steinhafels said.

This contactless drive-up is the first of many in weeks to come. Drive-thru volunteers grab donations from cars to keep everyone safe. 

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And during such a cold time, this project brings warmth to the hearts of those who need it most. 

"We all have extras in the closet to come out and just give is amazing," Daniels said.

Because of the pandemic, the drive-thru donation operation will happen every Saturday through Dec. 6 at different Steinhafels locations. For more information about Coats for Kids, head to fox6now.com/news/2020coatsforkids.

FOX6 Coats for Kids is here now through Sunday, Dec. 6

FOX6 Coats for Kids is here -- now through Sunday, Dec. 6.