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The Coats for Kids Program is a great program that was started by Supreme in 2009. The key to this program is that it helps needy children. With so many families with young children continuing to struggle in these challenging economic times, there has never been a better time for Knights of Columbus councils to help by providing warm winter coats to children in their communities through the Order’s Coats for Kids program. These children often go to school during the cold months without coats to wear, coats that do not keep them warm or in some cases coats that don’t fit them. When our councils become part of the Coats for Kids program, it gives us the wonderful opportunity to help these children keep warm. Since 2009, Knights in the United States and Canada have distributed 167,000 coats including over 90,000 coats distributed by approximately 2,000 local Knights of Columbus councils from the United States and Canada this past Columbian Year of 2013-2014. The winter of CY 2013-2014 saw record cold weather and will be remembered for severe cold weather. I remember sitting in my kitchen one Monday morning and I looked at the outdoor thermometer in my back yard and it was 35 degrees. I thought, “This is sunny California. I left central New York State to get out of the cold weather”. Also, this this Columbian year the Knights of Columbus experienced record number of councils donating a record number of coats. Last year 1,195 councils and Supreme purchased and donated 51,294 coats to children who were cold and had no coats. That is 200 more councils than the year before and 10,000 more coats than last year. Let’s make this year another record year for this wonderful program HOW TO CONDUCT A COATS FOR KIDS PROGRAM Distributing coats to needy children not only fills a vital need in the community, it is also an excellent was to build camaraderie among members and prospects. Seeing the joy that getting a new winter coat brings to a child will help prospects to see the Knights of Columbus as an organization they want to be part of. In the last three years, Knights of Columbus councils have distributed more than 80,000 winter coats to needy children.
- As a chapter identify and target one month for all councils to put on a drive.
- Make Coats for Kids a project for the entire parish community.
- Conduct a Sunday Coat Drive at your parish.
- Set up a sample coat.
- Have Knights stand out in front of church asking for donations to supply coats to those in need.
- Remind them that for every $16.00 donated a coat will be issue to a kid in need.
- For the 2014-2015 winter, coats purchased from the Supreme Council will cost $16.25 plus shipping (note that the Supreme Council will absorb 50% of the shipping costs).
- Assess the, need in the community. Pastors and Catholic school principals can be excellent resources in identifying children who would benefit from this program.
- Purchase the coats using the form on www.kofc.org/coats.
- Schedule a distribution date, time and location. Parish halls, Catholic school gyms or council homes all make good distribution sites. Invite the entire parish to participate.
- Publicize the distribution among the recipients. Also, advise local media.
- Host a “Thank You” or “Open House” reception for all volunteers who gave of their time and talent. Let all – especially non-members – know how much their efforts are appreciated. Let prospects know that they are welcome and needed in your council…then ask them to join.
- Name:Andrew Diaz
- Phone 1:760-521-4129