Coats For All Kids!

The following was contributed by guest contributor, April Abernathy, Social Media and Web Manager for The Salvation Army Indiana Division. To learn more about the programs of The Salvation Army in Indiana, please visit http://salvationarmyindiana.org/.

***

If you’re not familiar with Coats for Kids — you really are missing out.

For 26 years now, the annual campaign – started by local dry cleaning company Tuchman Cleaners – has helped put coats on thousands upon thousands of children in central Indiana. It’s a partnership between Indianapolis TV station, WTHR, well-known community representative, Bob Gregory and The Salvation Army that continues to grow and flourish year after year.

Last week, distribution day finally arrived.

Volunteers and coat seeking families lined up in the wee hours of the morning, long before the sun started to rise. At 8 a.m., the first families walked through the doors of the Horticulture Agriculture Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Many of the children were wrapped in blankets to keep warm while waiting out in the chilly morning air.

Once inside the doors, children were greeted by Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders and volunteers. Each family was directed to a volunteer who took them through the racks to find the perfect jacket.

At first site, the distribution may appear to just be a scene of organized chaos, but every detail of the day was carefully planned and organized.

The somewhat unexpected result of the day was in the emotion of children, parents and volunteers. It’s in the eyes and smile on each child’s face when he or she tried on that one perfect jacket. It’s in the sigh of relief let out by the parent. It’s in the growing warmth found in the heart of every volunteer.

Who knew a coat could hold so much meaning?

Of course, it’s not just a single jacket that children walk out with on distribution day. They also leave equipped with a light-weight jacket, a hat, scarf and gloves — everything that child needs to stay warm though the cooler months.

In total, the distribution granted 8,720 coats and over 6,000 hats to local children in need!

If you still don’t understand what Coats for Kids is all about — then you need to find out for yourself. Bring a child. Volunteer. Share a story.