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


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.

7 Comments on “Coats For All Kids!

  1. I have 3 kids 15 year old boy an 2 -7 year old twins boy an girl , i need coats for them i dont have a job no income coming in i live in phila,pa 19154

  2. Hi, Tammy – thanks so much for reaching out. The fastest and most effective way to request emergency assistance is to contact your local Salvation Army directly. You can find this information by searching by zip code on our website’s home page:

    If you have trouble reaching someone directly, please send us your requests, ages of your children, and full contact information to Thank you so much.

  3. My girl scout troop in CA would like to help with this cause. What is the best way to go about getting the coats to you once they are collected. We would really like them to go to Sandy victims.

  4. Hi, Linda- We are thankful for your great support. The Salvation Army is currently taking monetary donations towards Hurricane Sandy relief. This allows us to meet the varied and unique needs of individuals along the coast.

    At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

    And your local Salvation Army would more than likely appreciate any donations of coats, gloves, scarves, hats, etc. for your fellow community members in need. Please do reach out to your nearest Salvation Army with this question.

    If you would like to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, you can make a donation in the following ways:

    Online: Visit
    By Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
    Text-to-Give: Text the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”*
    By Mail: Checks may be designated and made out to:
    The Salvation Army Disaster Services Center
    PO BOX 1959
    Atlanta, GA 30301.

    Once again, we thank you for your generous and thoughtful support. Blessings to you!

  5. I have some coats I would like to donate to the hurricane victims…I have some infant sizes and up. What is the best way to get them to those people?

  6. Hi there, we are so thankful for your coat donations! Please do consider donating these to your local Salvation Army, as this will fill the need in your community, and help with future disaster relief.

    To support Hurricane Sandy survivors, The Salvation Army asks for monetary donations as this allows our Emergency Disaster Services teams to meet the immediate and unique needs of victims. Please visit for ways to donate. Thank you so much for your thoughtful support.

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