Coat drives kick off: Non-profit says need remains high because of pandemic

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:28 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - As winter temperatures settle in, Pikes Peak United Way says many southern Colorado children will be heading to school cold each day... but the organization hopes to change that.

“There are a number of students who’s families just cannot afford a winter coat, and it gets really cold when those poor kids have to walk to school and go outside for recess, so we want to make sure that the kids have coats and can stay healthy and warm,” said Elizabeth Quevedo with Pikes Peak United Way. “There’s always a need for more. Last year we collected 400 coats and got those to students, and unfortunately there still were students that we weren’t able to serve.”

The COVID-19 pandemic began over a year and a half ago, yet the financial strain it caused remains vast.

“We have seen an uptick in the number of 2-1-1 calls over the last couple weeks,” Quevedo said referring to United Way’s help hotline. “We’ve also seen an increase at our food distributions, so we do believe that the need is growing ... Coats are expensive, and if you have a few kids, it can be in the hundreds of dollars to provide new coats for your children.”

Unlike a traditional coat drive, this one is all online which ensures donated items will be new, not used.

“We try to provide new coats for children as often as possible, especially with COVID it’s important,” Quevedo said. And, there’s another benefit of new coats. “The sense of pride that the kids get from having a new coat and wanting to wear it to school, you know... it’s important to feel good about yourself, and so we want to make sure all students have that opportunity.”

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