'Perfect opportunity for families:' Salvation Army distributes free winter coats

MILWAUKEE --  Winter coats were distributed to those in need Friday, Jan. 25 as part of the Salvation Army's Coat Distribution Day. There were more than 8,000 coats to choose from -- along with hats, scarves and gloves - all to help children stay warm and safe this winter.

James O'Neal

"With the frigid temperatures, we want to make sure everyone is comfortable and has a coat of their own," said Major Steve Merritt, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

James O'Neal is finding the perfect coats for his four kids. His kids are growing so fast, his wallet can't keep up.

"My kids are cold. They need some coats. My kids, they're growing up like weeds. I definitely got to buy clothes every year," said James O'Neal.

O'Neal says he wants his kids to be able to play in the snow -- and their are hundreds of other parents like him.

"The need is huge. I mean sometimes you see kids out at the bus stop -- they don't have a jacket. This is the perfect opportunity for families who might not be able to afford a coat, grab that coat," said Amy Burke, Salvation Army spokesperson.

The Salvation Army is hoping to raise $300,000 by the end of the month to help these programs continue.

If you weren't able to make it out to the coat drive on Friday, but your kids could use a coat, you can call the Salvation Army Distribution Center and set up an appointment.

About 8,100 coats were collected, through donations, in November and December 2018. Many of the coats given out on Friday came from the FOX6 Coats for Kids Drive.