TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - PATH’s annual Coats for Kids Drive starts Thursday in Tyler. Like many other events, there are some changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a goal of collecting 1,000 coats, the distribution will be done via drive-thru only, no try-ons will be allowed and children are not required to attend the distribution in order to receive a coat. Executive director of PATH, Andrea Wilson, explains the importance of this annual event.
“We have children every day that come here that don’t have enough and so what more can we do as a community do to make sure they’re warm this winter. It doesn’t get really cold here, but when it does, they need more than just a hoodie or a jacket, they need a real coat that zips up, that’s good and warm.”
Registration to receive coats will begin at PATH on Thursday. The registration period ends Oct. 29. Parents or guardians must bring a valid ID for the child, as well as their own photo ID. Valid identification for children includes, a birth certificate, social security card, school ID or report card.
“One of the areas that we have the greatest need for are those kids that are 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade who may not wear the youth sizes anymore, maybe they wear adult smalls, adult larges. Think about your own kids that are in high school, what size do they need, and that’s the size that we need the most.,” Wilson said.
PATH is also encouraging new coat donations be made through monetary donations or online shopping in order to limit in-person transactions.
“We are looking for donations of new coats this year. We’re really focusing in on providing a child with a brand-new coat for them. There are lots of ways you can get involved in paths coats for kids drive, whether that’s dropping off a new coat or going online to where you can purchase a coat directly online through our amazon store and it gets delivered directly to us.”
New and gently-used coats can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Altra FCU – 2815 WSW Loop 323
- Altra FCU – 5523 Troup Hwy
- Altra FCU – 8976 S Broadway Ave.
- Comet Cleaners
- Hart’s Cleaners
- Progress Cleaners
- Regency Cleaners
- Shannon’s Cleaners
- The Cleaning Company
- VIP Cleaners
More from PATH:
“Coats For Kids is one of our favorite events of the year,” says Andrea Wilson, Executive Director, “so even with the restrictions of COVID-19, PATH remains committed to making sure that our youngest neighbors in need have a warm coat this winter. There’s no greater feeling that seeing the smile of a child who just received a new coat, and appreciative family members who are relieved to not make a choice between buying a coat or groceries.”
To ensure health and safety needs of our recipients and volunteers, this year’s distribution will be held at PATH via a drive-thru pickup. Pickup appointments will be scheduled for November 9-12 and 16-19 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and November 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Appointment times will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis at the time of registration. Coat try on will not be permitted this year, and children are not required to attend the distribution in order to receive a coat.
PATH also requests that new coat donations are made through monetary donations or online shopping whenever possible, in order to limit in-person transactions. To donate or see PATH’s Coats for Kids wishlist, visit PATHHelps.org/CoatsForKids.
Coats For Kids is made possible through the support of KLTV and Altra Federal Credit Union. Additional corporate sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Leslie Watson, Development Director at Leslie_Watson@pathhelps.org or call 903-617-2825.
Volunteers who speak Spanish are especially needed. To register as a volunteer, please contact Mike Vasquez at Volunteer@pathhelps.org or call 903-617-2821 for more information.