Coats for Kids warms Sacramento residents

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The 20th annual Coats for Kids coat giveaway was held at Cal Expo today. Swanson’s Cleaners, ABC News 10, The Salvation Army and a local The UPS Store partnered to collect and distribute the coats.

Sacramento resident Mike Hainline attended the event to get a new coat. He has been collecting unemployment for almost two years.

“The economy has a lot to do with it, that’s why I came out here,” Hainline said. “I’ve donated coats in the past. I actually received one this year. It helps out to have an extra jacket, plus I got a waterproof one now,”

JoAnn Lemmon is the governor of the North Sacramento Rotary Club. She volunteered her time to help at the event.

“I wish we had more coats. I think the part that people probably don’t realize is that we need coats for adults as well,” she said. “We have a lot of adults in need of coats, especially larger sizes. It’s something to remember for next year.”

Syd Fong is the public relations director of the Sacramento Salvation Army. He said the nonprofit organization had collected more than 27,000 coats, surpassing its goal of 25,000. Coats are being distributed at locations around California in Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Lodi, Roseville, Antioch and Fairfield.

“In the 20 years that the Coats for Kids program has been going, we’ve collected and distributed over 500,000 jackets,” Fong said.

Brian Levingston, a cadet in Natomas High school’s Airforce JROTC program, came out with other members of his unit to help with security.

“It makes us realize that we really are blessed,” he said. “I like getting out to meet other people, to help them, you know. To let them know that this is a place that they can come and that people care.

“That’s the reason why I like the event: because it shows that people do care and that when there’s times that are hard, like now, you can go somewhere and find refuge if you need a coat,” Levingston said.

Greg Higley is the owner of The UPS Store at Elk Grove and Stockton Boulevard. This was his first year helping to sponsor the event.

“It’s a good event. We’re in partnership with channel 10,” Higley said. “We will be doing this again. We’re going to try and get more coats and more people involved next year.”

Cindy Cain volunteered at the event with Hands on Sacramento.

“It’s my first year,” Cain said. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I usually donate coats. It’s great to see were the coats go.”

News10 and Swanson’s Cleaners created Coats For Kids in 1991. Since then, more than 500,000 new and used coats have been distributed to children and families in need.

  • I hope there is still time for my grandaughters to get a new coat. They have nothing to keep them warm & rain proof they go to pre-school. They live in Sacramento. My daughter single mother Helena Draper & her 2 daughters age 3 (size 6) her name is Ariela, her older sister age 4 (size 7) her name is Ariana. They have been sruggling & surviving always barely making it. I am there Grandmother my name is Julieanne Fernandez. I live in San Francisco I deal daily with my mental illness. I help as much as I can. But I myself also sruggling & surviving & recovery from my many mental illnesses. I have tried to come up & tried to even borrow money to buy my grandaughters a coat, I have no money to get them a coat. I am worried because regular I give to get them through it. I sacrafice for them. But I am stuck & I & my daughter & 2 grandaughter need Help with coats.
    Please if there is any way or resources so the 2 girls can get a coat.. I’ve tried everywhere. My daughter lives in Sacramento, Ca.. her phone is (916) 424-6061 no msg. service. I live in San Francisco My Name is Julieanne Fernandez . Phone Number (415) 800-8947, I have a msg service. You can call me, if you have trouble getting a hold of my daughter Helena in Sacramento.