Thank you for supporting Koats for Kids, Winnipeg!

The Koats for Kids program has wrapped-up for another season!

This year more than 6000 donated coats and thousands of hats, mitts, scarves and boots were distributed in the community to people in need. It’s an incredible display of warmth and generosity by thousands of Winnipeggers!

Grades 5 & 6 students at Sister MacNamara School helped kick off the Koats for Kids program last September.

Grades 5 & 6 students at Sister MacNamara School helped kick off the Koats for Kids program last September.

We want to thank the many children and school groups that organized collection drives. Making sure your classmates and other children can be warm is a wonderful expression of what being part of a caring and compassionate community is.

And a special thank you to past and new supporters from the business community that have made significant contributions to Koats for Kids this year.

Volunteers are essential to Koats’ success, and this year more than 400 volunteers contributed over 1,500 hours helping sort, clean, mend and deliver donations. Thank you!

Koats for Kids volunteers hard at work.

Koats for Kids volunteers hard at work.

One in five Winnipeg kids under 18 live in poverty, and that rate is even higher for younger kids. It is essential to provide access to warm winter gear for all children so they can go to school and play outside with their friends without risk to their health.

Since 1989, Koats for Kids has collected and distributed more than 178,000 items to Winnipeg infants, children and youth. Without the generosity each year of thousands of Winnipeggers it would not be possible. Thank you all so much.

Koats will begin accepting donations again in the fall of 2016.

Thank you to our partners:

KoatsForKidsPartners

Kindness & warmth for Winnipeg kids.

Koats for Kids puts out the call!

Mittens, gloves, hats, toques, scarves, boots, snow pants. And, of course, coats.

All kids should have what they need to keep warm during our harsh Winnipeg winter, but the reality is not all do.

The 27th annual Koats for Kids drive launched today at Sister MacNamara School along with a class of grade 5 & 6 kids, teachers, and their Principal.

Grades 5 & 6 students at Sister MacNamara School help 103.1 Virgin's Chrissy Troy and CTV's Colleen Bready load up the Koats for Kids donation box.

Grades 5 & 6 students at Sister MacNamara School help 103.1 Virgin’s Chrissy Troy and CTV’s Colleen Bready load up the Koats for Kids donation box.

“People living in poverty lack more than money, they lack the resources and choices necessary for an adequate standard of living,” said Isha Khan, United Way board member and vice-chair of the Community Investment Committee.

“For families unable to afford warm winter outerwear, this means kids may not be able to participate in the winter activities childhood memories are made of, like playing outside, making snow angels, giving their friends facewashes!”

Koats for Kids has distributed 184,000 pieces of winter outerwear since 1989, and the need continues.

Donate new or gently used winter outerwear at any Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Station or Perth’s location.

For large donations call 204-586-5628 or email koats@UnitedWayWinnipeg.mb.ca

Koats for Kids postcard

Koats for Kids did you know?

Koats for Kids 2015 sponsors

Koats for Kids wraps up the winter sharing 28,000 pieces of YOUR winterwear!

It’s been a bit of a cold winter, as you may have noticed. But Winnipeggers fought back against the snow by doing what we do best: giving generously.

Koats for Kids has wrapped up for the season, and we’re delighted and grateful for the 28,000 pieces of winterwear you shared, and the hundreds of volunteer hours you gave sorting, mending, and transporting coats (and boots, mitts, hats, scarves and skipants!).

Many little Manitobans were warmer this year because of you. Thank you.

Koats for Kids - 2013.

Koats for Kids: Spirit of Giving.

Winnipeg Free Press, Tuesday December 14, 2010. Reproduced with permission.
By: Staff Writer. Photos: Phil Hossack

What they do:

Now in its 22nd year, United Way-led program Koats for Kids bundles kids up against the winter chill. “It’s not just coats,” says Eric Friesen, United Way’s director of engagement. “It’s mitts, toques, ski-pants… anything a kid needs to have in order to participate and be warm in the winter time.”

Ginny Sudlow of Koats for Kids.

Ginny Sudlow of Koats for Kids. Don't be fooled by the the program's name - mitts, toques, ski-pants and other warm-weather clothing are welcome, too.

Hopes for the holidays:

Outerwear’s the name of the game, but the real benefit goes way beyond warmth.

Last holiday season, Friesen recalls, the program learned of a young student who had suddenly started skipping class. Officials at the boy’s school worried… until they learned that he was staying home because it was too cold for him to wait for the bus.

After getting a new parka from Koats for Kids, the boy went on to earn a perfect attendance award the next semester.

“It’s something we take for granted,” Friesen says. “And when it’s missing, it’s not just being cold, it’s being left out of so many things.”

Getting all that outerwear to all Winnipeg’s kids in need is a mammoth task: Each year, the program receives about 10,000 orders for outerwear from schools and other organizations. Since 2008, volunteer hours have more than tripled, to 1,600 a year, as Koats for Kids has expanded into a bigger space at 3172 Portage Ave.

How to help:

Scour your closets for outerwear. This year, girls and boys’ coats sizes 4 through 10 are especially needed. Clothing can be dropped off at any Perths Drycleaners or Winnipeg fire station, or at AMJ Campbell Van Lines on Niakwa Road. Cash donations are also welcome and volunteers are needed through March to help sort donations. Call 586-KOAT for more information.

St. Vital Centre brings gift of warmth.

On a cold winter’s morning, nothing warms you up like a cup of piping hot chocolate.

St.Vital Centre staff members have a holiday surprise for Koats for Kids Manager Donna Albak (centre) - more than a dozen brand new jackets and snow pants for Koats for Kids!

St.Vital Centre staff members have a holiday surprise for Koats for Kids Manager Donna Albak (centre) – more than a dozen brand new jackets and snow pants for Koats for Kids!

In the spirit of making things a little brighter around the city during the holiday season, the St. Vital Centre Christmas Cheer Street Team is setting up shop at various locations around Winnipeg every Wednesday this December to hand out free hot chocolate and candy canes.

On December 8, 2010, they stopped by United Way’s offices at 580 Main Street, and treated United Way staff and visitors to some seasonal treats and good cheer.

In addition to the hot chocolate, the staff of St. Vital Centre also came bearing gifts for United Way’s Koats for Kids program. The staff donated more than a dozen brand new winter jackets and snow pants, items that will keep Winnipeg children safe and warm during the cold winter months.

A big thank you goes out to St. Vital Centre for helping to make the season a bright one. Make sure to keep your ears peeled for the whereabouts of their Christmas Cheer Street Team throughout the rest of the month. Also, as we approach the holidays, Koats for Kids is counting on the legendary generosity of Winnipeggers to ensure that no child is left out in the cold this winter.

Right now, there is an immediate need for donations of coats, ski pants, hats, mittens, scarves and boots, which can be dropped off at any Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Station or Perth’s location. Larger donations may be dropped off at AMJ Campbell Van Lines on Niakwa Road, across from the Mint.

Volunteers are also needed to help ready donations for delivery. Volunteers are encouraged to contact Donna Albak at Koats for Kids. Call 586-KOAT (5628) or email koats[at]unitedwaywinnipeg.mb.ca. To request winter outerwear, please contact the school, daycare or United Way agency partner in your area.

Koats for Kids unzips their 22nd season.

Winnipeg may be notorious for its cold winters, but it is equally famous for the unsurpassed generosity of its citizens. United Way of Winnipeg celebrated that generosity on Friday, October 16, 2010 at the launch of the 22nd season of Koats for Kids.

Student citizenship leaders from Bruce Middle School join CTV's Sylvia Kuzyk at the Koats for Kids Volunteer Centre.

Student citizenship leaders from Bruce Middle School join CTV's Sylvia Kuzyk at the Koats for Kids Volunteer Centre.

“Together, through United Way’s Koats for Kids program, Winnipeggers can ensure no child is left out in the cold this season,” CTV’s Sylvia Kuzyk told a crowd gathered at the Koats for Kids Volunteer Centre at 3172 Portage Avenue. Longtime Koats for Kids spokesperson, Kuzyk hosted the event alongside Beau and Tom, morning personalities at 99.9 BOB FM – the newest Koats for Kids partner.

BOB FM joins existing Koats for Kids partners United Way of Winnipeg, CTV, Winnipeg Sun, Perth’s, Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service and AMJ Campbell Van Lines.

United Way is committed to helping children and youth achieve their potential. As part of that commitment, Koats for Kids has been warming kids up for success in school and life since 1989. Since its inception, the program has collected and distributed more than 145,000 items of new and gently used winter outerwear, free of charge, to thousands of children and families throughout Winnipeg.

Winter can be a magical time for a child. There are snowmen to be made, forts to be built, and hills to be tobogganed down. But if children do not have appropriate winter outerwear, they are shut out from all those opportunities to have fun, make new friends, and create lasting memories. More than ever, Winnipeg families need help in keeping their children warm and safe this winter. Koats for Kids is counting on the legendary generosity of Winnipeggers to ensure that thousands of Winnipeg children have the opportunity to put on a good warm jacket, go outside, and just be a kid.

Right now, there is an immediate need for people to help ready donations for distribution, like the student volunteers and citizenship leaders from Bruce Middle School who were on hand at the media launch to show others how easy it is to get involved.

Volunteers are encouraged to contact Donna Albak at United Way. Call 586-KOAT (5628) or email koats[at]unitedwaywinnipeg.mb.ca.

Donations of coats, ski pants, hats, mittens, scarves and boots may be dropped off at any Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Station or Perth’s location. Larger donations may be dropped off at AMJ Campbell Van Lines on Niakwa Road, across from the Mint. To request winter outerwear, please contact the school, daycare or United Way agency partner in your area.