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.

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