Coats for Kids

November  08, 2013

     For the 15th year, residents of the Quad Cities can help children stay warm this winter. The annual Coats for Kids Program is asking for donations - of either coats or cash.

     Denise Zimmer, from the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency in Bettendorf, says new or gently used coats can be taken to any Burke Cleaners, where they'll be cleaned for a nominal fee, and then sorted and stored by her agency. Participating schools identify kids in need, and send orders to the AEA.

     "Last year we gave out a little over 3,200 coats. This year we're over 2,000 already and it's only the beginning of November. In total since the AEA's been involved, we've given out almost 25,000 coats."

      She thinks the recession is one cause of the high demand for winter coats, but also increased awareness of the Coats for Kids Program.

     "We started getting orders in September and tried to hold off filling them until mid-October. But we will see orders trickling in, I expect orders will die down in a couple of weeks - big orders - but we will see some trickling in through the end of the year, and maybe even into January."

     Coats for Kids was founded in 1999 in the Davenport schools by Associate Superintendent David Lane.  Two years later it moved to the AEA which added all of its school districts in eastern Iowa. Then in 2008, the annual program added the districts in Rock Island County.