Farmer’s Almanac predicts “above normal snow and below-normal temperatures for winter 2015-2016; New England’s largest coat collection enters second decade of helping Bay State babies, children and adults in need with warm winter coats.
TEWKSBURY, Mass. (September 17, 2015) – On October 12, 2015, Caring Partners kicks off the 21st annual Coats for Kids winter coat drive sponsored by Anton’s Cleaners and Jordan’s Furniture. Coats for Kids will run through January 8, 2016 with one simple goal – to help individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to keep themselves and their families warm. Since the program began in 1995, more than 900,000 coats have been collected (nearly 52,000 last year alone), with Anton’s donating over $12M in cleaning services.
With the Farmer’s Almanac predicting “above-normal snow and below-normal temperatures” for this winter season, warm winter coats are a necessity for all, and all donated coats are cleaned free of charge by Anton’s Cleaners.
Coats for Kids accepts warm winter coats that are gently used, good quality, and all sizes (especially XL and pre-K sizes). The drive does not accept coats with rips, tears, broken zippers, or permanent stains, nor can we accept sweatshirts, vests and spring coats. Coats are accepted at all 42 Anton’s Cleaners and five Jordan’s Furniture locations October 12, 2015 through January 8, 2016. Collected coats are cleaned free of charge by Anton’s Cleaners and distributed through distribution partners made up of major local nonprofits and social service agencies.
Coats for Kids is New England’s largest coat drive, with more than 212 school groups making up one half of all collections in 2015. Local public, parochial and independent schools experience the rewards of community service and get incentivized through the School Rewards Program™. This program awards great prizes to the top three elementary and middle schools who collect the most coats per capita – leveling the playing field so everyone has a chance to win. See website for registration form and details: https://antons.com/cfk/get-involved/register-your-school/.
According to Arthur C. Anton Jr., COO of Anton’s Cleaners, “Our mission is simple: ‘Anyone in need of a coat will have one.’ Coats for Kids is a program close to the hearts of all our employees in all 42 Anton’s stores. We are proud to enter our 21st year of partnership with local schools, businesses and organizations, all working together to help make winter a little warmer for children, teens and adults in Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.”
In addition to all 42 Anton’s Cleaners locations, warm winter coats are also accepted at all Jordan’s Furniture locations during normal store hours. “Jordan’s Furniture is proud to celebrate our tenth year supporting Coats for Kids,” said Eliot Tatelman, President/CEO of Jordan’s Furniture. “It is important to us to be a part of this necessary local program because there are so many families right in our own neighborhoods who go without. To be able to help them during the tough winter months is just the right thing to do, and to see our wonderful customers come into our stores with their arms full of warm clothes to donate is truly inspirational. It shows the true spirit of community. We are honored to be a prominent sponsor of Coats For Kids and a part of the drive’s School Rewards Program, demonstrating to students how important it is to help those in need around you.”
Companies can also participate. In addition to monetary donations, Coats for Kids also relies on over 300 Massachusetts businesses to become collection partners and round up warm winter coats which will be cleaned and distributed back to neighbors in the company’s area – a worthy corporate holiday charitable effort. Participating companies receive posters and other marketing material to promote the drive to employees, customers and clients. Companies already participating this year include Oracle, Hammond Residential Real Estate, Stop & Shop, and Nestle Waters North America.
Once collected and cleaned, coats are distributed through the Coats for Kids Distribution Partners Network, which includes such organizations as Massachusetts Community Action Programs (MASSCAP), Salvation Army, Middlesex Human Service Agency, BU Medical Center Outreach Van Project, Wish Project, Community Giving Tree, Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell, Strafford County Community Action, Catholic Charities, and many more.
“Through Coats for Kids, we were able to give families warm coats so that they could devote their resources to other needs, such as heating their homes and buying food. I believe that in so many ways, Anton’s Cleaners is an unsung hero to so many people,” said Joseph Diamond, Executive Director, Massachusetts Association for Community Action.
Major partners for the 2015-2016 Coats for Kids collection include Anton’s Cleaners, Jordan’s Furniture, WickedLocal, Kiss 108FM, Fox 25 Boston, Jam’n 94.5, and 101.7 The Bull.
To register your school online to participate, visit https://antons.com/cfk/school/
To sign up and become a Corporate Partner, visit https://antons.com/cfk/become-a-partner/