TEWKSBURY, Mass. — “Celebrating 25 years of caring as New England’s largest coat drive, Coats for Kids has a legion of caring collection partners and distribution network for the 25th annual Coats for Kids Drive,” says Anton’s Cleaners.
The drive, sponsored by Anton’s Cleaners, Enterprise Bank, and Jordan’s Furniture, kicked off October 14 and runs through January 12, 2020.
“It is hard to believe we have spent the last quarter of a century helping our neighbors in need, and carrying out the Caring Partners mission to provide a coat to anyone who needs one,” says Arthur Anton Jr., COO of Anton’s Cleaners and founder of the program.
“Unfortunately, cost of living has continued to rise and make expenses a hardship for New England families. It takes a village of collection partners to meet the rising need each year – over 50,000 coats are needed this year,” he adds.
Last summer and early fall, Anton’s relates, Caring Partners relied on the collaborative efforts of 1,000 local partners — schools, companies, clubs, and nonprofits — to help neighbors in need. Together, these partners helped collect, clean and distribute over 50,000 winter coats to help babies, kids and adults who otherwise wouldn’t be able to keep themselves warm this winter.
Since coats are a necessity for both adults and kids, all donated coats are cleaned free of charge by Anton’s Cleaners and distributed through distribution partners made up of major local nonprofit and social service agencies such as Massachusetts Community Action Programs, Salvation Army, Middlesex Human Service Agency, Women’s Lunch Place, BU Medical Center Outreach Van Project, and many more, the cleaners notes.
“Coats for Kids accepts warm winter coats that are gently used, good quality, and all sizes, especially XL and infant/pre-K sizes. The drive does not accept coats with rips, tears, broken zippers, or permanent stains, nor can we accept sweatshirts, vests and spring coats,” Anton’s points out.
Last year, the organization reached its goal of collecting and distributing one million coats since the program began in 1995.... 1,073,306, to be exact, the cleaner relates. Coats for Kids has more than 200 school groups making up one half of all collections, it adds.