"Don't want anyone to go without:" Free coats available at Salvation Army's distribution center

MILWAUKEE -- Thousands of families in the Milwaukee area are thankful they have one essential winter item: a coat. For years, FOX6 has been proud to partner with the Salvation Army for the annual "Coats for Kids" drive.

Coats for Kids

One-year-old Yaneli Pinto is ready for colder temperatures -- but his mom Cynthia was still in need of a pile of coats.

"I have four little ones -- and then one for myself," said Cynthia Pinto.

There are more than 6,000 coats available at the Salvation Army's distribution center on Milwaukee's northwest side.

"These coats have been professionally cleaned. The zippers have been checked," said Krachel Greenwood, Salvation Army media relations director.

The coats are free to anyone in need, no questions asked.

"We certainly don't want anyone to go without. That is the role of the Salvation Army -- to provide for those who are in need," said Greenwood.

Coats for Kids

All of the coats at the warehouse are organized by size. The whole place is organized like a department store, so when you get there, you'll let them know how many coats you need for your family. Then you will be assigned a Salvation Army volunteer who will sort of act as your personal shopper.

Keeping up with growing children on a budget is a challenge.

Coats for Kids

"They sprout! One minute she was a size 12. Now she is into a 2T -- so it gets to be struggle," said Pinto.

And it's a tough time of year...

"It's Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then New Year's, and I have birthdays right after, so it is a struggle," said Pinto.

Pinto said she's grateful to all those who have donated.

Coats for Kids

"It gives you that little help," said Pinto.

The Salvation Army hoped to collect 10,000 coats. They say they are still accepting donations.

The coat distribution runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday, November 4th and 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 5th while supplies last.

The warehouse is located at 5880 N. 60th Street in Milwaukee.