Coats for Kids warms over 3,000 children across Alaska

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Volunteers-sorting-Coats-for-KidsThe Salvation Army is providing winter coats to schoolchildren in 14 communities.

By Thomas Brown – 

The Salvation Army in Alaska has collected over 3,000 coats for Alaskan children as part of its 2015 Coats for Kids campaign. The program, which helps prepare Alaska’s neediest schoolchildren for success, also eases the financial burden of parents and guardians. More than 3,000 Alaska students in 14 communities are due to receive free new winter coats this year.

“Thanks to the community partners whose contributions will help make winter a little warmer for thousands of children throughout the state,” said Ivy Spohnholz, director of development in The Salvation Army Alaska Division. “Obviously a coat is a crucial safety item in Alaska winters, but for many of these kids it is a real treat to get a brand new coat.”

KTUU-TV donated $20,000 of advertising airtime and provided free advertising the entire month of August. This year, Fred Meyer donated $15,000 worth of new coats, and Lynden Transport donated the shipping costs of the coats from Fred Meyer’s distribution center in Chehalis, Wash., to Anchorage and to communities throughout Alaska.

“We are particularly inspired by the fact that over 1,000 of the coats were donated directly by Alaskan families,” said Major George Baker, divisional commander in the Alaska Division. “Coats for Kids is only possible through the generosity of our partners and the hard work of our volunteers. The generosity of Alaskans is amazing.”

Families-waiting-for-Coats-for-Kids-in-ANCCommunity members brought coats to The Salvation Army McKinnell House, Fireweed Cleaners, Alaska Dinner Factory, and Northrim Bank locations. Additionally, Fireweed Cleaners donated dry cleaning for over 1,000 used coats donated by community members throughout Anchorage.

Volunteers distributed almost 1,000 coats at The Salvation Army Anchorage Community Center Corps. A shipment of over 500 coats went to the communities of Juneau, Kodiak, Haines and Cordova. Lynden Transport then conveyed another 500 coats to Fairbanks, Kenai, and Homer, followed by a shipment of almost 150 coats to Bethel. Additional shipments were planned for Sitka, Kake, Angoon, Gateway and Hoonah.

Any coats not distributed at planned events are reserved for emergency needs throughout the winter.

Coats for Kids is a community partnership that helps prepare children throughout the state for school. The project was founded on the belief that it is imperative for children to get a solid education and that being dressed warmly is necessary for that goal.

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