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“Coats for Kids” Begin Journey to Families in Need


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The temperatures are slowly dropping and soon, the cold weather will be here.

For many families, however, that will mean having to send their kids out without proper winter coats.

Friday morning, the Coats for Kids campaign began the process of getting gently used coats out to families in need.

With nearly 11 percent of Massachusetts residents living below the poverty level, getting winter coats for their kids is not something they can afford to take for granted.

That’s where Coats for Kids comes in.

For 33 years, Salvation Army has collected coats for families in need. Friday morning at ABC40, some of those coats collected began their journey to those who need them most.

“I take my van. We put these coats in the vehicle and there have been times I’ve been to Belmont Laundry and I have four or five bins. I’ve got a thousand coats in my van and it’s really emotional then the real major part is when they distribute them,” says Chris Vyce from WMAS-FM.

Vyce from 94.7 WMAS has done this for seven years, going to various drop-off points and taking them to Belmont Laundry for a thorough cleaning.

“We’ve cleaned tens and tens of thousands of coats and it’s something we feel as if it’s something we have built it in part of our obligation within the community to do such a thing,” adds Derek Samble from Belmont Landry.

Belmont Laundry does the cleaning free of charge. They have been a part of the generosity for years and say the giving spirit spreads from generation to generation

Samble says, “We see brand new coats come in that don’t necessarily need cleaning, but they come in brand new with the tags. We’ve seen older coats come in. It’s actually kind of funny because we have had employees recognize coats that get turned over through the years.”

These are genuine acts of kindness from the people of western Massachusetts – acts that will keep kids warm during the coming winter.

The Salvation Army says as many as 2,000 coats will be distributed to needy families this year

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