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Campaign starts 20th year providing warmth for youth

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – A Fort Wayne collaboration in charge of helping many kids over the years started it’s 20th campaign Tuesday. It’s something Fort Wayne’s NBC is a proud sponsor of.

Volunteer Center Executive Director, Ani Etter says, “We don’t want a child to be cold this winter, so it’s a little thing that we can do to help those families.”

In its nineteen years, the Coats for Kids campaign has delivered over 66,000 coats to underserved children in over 100 schools around the area.

The Volunteer Center, along with other participating organizations officially started the 20th year at MLK Montessori School by fitting some of the students with donated coats, hats, and gloves.

Director of MLK Montessori School, Greta McKinney says, “A lot of our families unfortunately, they have to decide whether or not they’re going to put gas in their car or pay a bill, and sometimes providing a coat that fits a child is sometimes difficult.”

The goal this year? To provide a coat for over 5000 kids.

“So far, we have received 44 orders from orders from schools for over 1400 coats, and we just started the campaign on Saturday, so that tells you what the need is,” says Etter.

Making them more comfortable, and giving families like one McKinney recalls as a single dad who’s kid was a beneficiary of Coats for Kids some help.

“Six months down the road, the dad came back to the school and he donated some money for Coats for Kids, says McKinney. “He was so gracious that there was an organization who helped him, and he wanted to give back.”

“You don’t need a cape to be a super hero,” says Etter. “This is something you can do to help a child that will make their winter, their life a little bit better.”

To donate new or gently used items, you can drop them off at several locations, including Peerless Cleaners, Kroger locations, and the YMCA in Fort Wayne. You can also donate online at

Coats for Kids goes through December 1st. On the week of December 10th, the winter weather apparel will be donated to the local kids.

Jon Wilson

Jon Wilson is the Weekend Meteorologist at Fort Wayne’s NBC. You can catch Jon’s weekend forecasts on Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11 p.m.

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