Seen left to right with Coats For Kids donations, Firefighter David Monroe, Benny Barnes, Assistant Chief Larry Wallace and Firefighter Drew George.
The annual Coats for Kids program is now under way for Jackson County. Kick off was launched Nov. 1 and with wintry weather quickly approaching the support of the community is needed.
Now in its 14th year, Coats for Kids is an annual community project that distributes warm winter coats to eligible children and teenagers in Southwest Oklahoma. Each year the Altus Fire/Rescue Department reaches out to the community and local businesses for donations to support this essential program.
Last year Coats for Kids was able to provide 354 new coats to qualifying families. The need for coats is even greater this year. This year, the Coats for Kids program is requesting monetary donations. With monetary donations, the Altus Fire/Rescue Department is able to purchase new coats at discounted prices with the assistance of local businesses.
Chief Abbott says, “Every year the Salvation Army provides us with a list of the number of new coats needed. This year’s list has almost 75 more children in need of a new coat compared to last year’s list. We believe every child deserves the gift of warmth. Our goal is to make sure that each child on that list receives a brand-new jacket to open Christmas morning.”
Both NEW and GENTLY used coats are also being accepted. Each year Altus Laundry & Cleaners agrees to clean the coats that have been donated. These coats are then taken to Salvation Army where anyone in need of a coat can pick one up, no questions asked.
If you would like to make a donation to Coats for Kids, you can stop by either N. Main or the Central fire stations. For more information, contact the Altus Fire/Rescue Department at 580-481-2231.