As the rain came in with the cold front, News 10, Swansons Cleaners and The Salvation Army were on hand to deliver coats to those without.

Wednesday marked the 19th annual Coats for Kids, and this year’s drive raised over 33,000 coats that were handed out all over the region.

Eight distribution centers were scattered from Stockton to Lodi, Fairfield to Roseville and Cal Expo. 15,000 coats were handed out at the Cal Expo distribution center alone.

"This is our largest center by far," Sacramento County Salvation Army Coordinator David Bentley said. "By comparison, the Roseville center will only hand out approximately 1,500 coats."

Long lines wrapped around makeshift rows at Cal Expo building B as children and adults waited patiently for their turn. Wait time for most was a little over an hour. That didn’t detour anyone from waiting.

Adam Godina, a third grader, was excited as he stood in line with his dad and two sisters. "I want a blue coat," he said. "It’s my favorite color. I also want one with hood." His sisters were looking for pink and purple coats.

Alina Petrichko, a fifth grader from Williamson Elementary School in Rancho Cordova, carried a handful of coats as she walked behind her mom. They were there together on behalf of the rest of the family.

"My mom and I found a pink coat," she said. "It looks and feels very cozy."

Will Frazier was there volunteering like he has for the past three years. "I get a good feeling out of doing this," he said. "I like doing something positive."

He wasn’t alone. Over 225 volunteers worked three shifts to keep the operation running smoothly. Miguel Zizzo was volunteering with his Sacramento County D.A.R.T. team.

"It’s important for everyone to have a warm coat," he said. "Especially today, these children deserve something like this."

Zizzo had organized the training rig to be on hand for demonstrations and education about the dangers of the water. As they were preparing to drive out to Cal Expo, a call came in.

"The guys that were bringing the rig here are now racing to save someone," Zizzo said. "We get as many calls during the winter months as we do the summer months. People need to be aware about the dangers of the waterways and rivers, especially children."

David Bentley and The Salvation Army thought the operation was a success.

"We could always use more coats though," he said.


For more information:

Coats for Kids Website