SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — KELOLAND families in need will be able to pick up brand-new winter coats later this week during the annual Kidz-N-Coats distribution in downtown Sioux Falls. Volunteers have collected the largest number of coats in the 18-year history of the local non-profit.
A first-time volunteer with Kidz-N-Coats is surprised at just how many boxes full of winter coats they’ve collected this year.
“I was shocked. I thought I was coming into a few boxes and I was, whoa!” Kidz-N-Coats volunteer Mary Zersen said.
The volunteers were busy taking inventory, ensuring they have all the sizes they ordered for children from zero to 18 years old. 1,200 coats in all.
“This is the most we’ve ordered. Last year, we gave away about a thousand, so we’re excited to have a little bit more than last year and hoping that we can bless the community with those,” Kidz-N-Coats Coordinator Teresa Blauwet said.
Last year’s distribution ran out of coats. Organizers are hoping there will be enough for everyone this year.
“We’ve been praying a lot about it to have just the right amount,” (laughs) Blauwet said.
Money raised during a golf tournament this summer in Sioux Falls paid for the coats purchased by Kidz-N-Coats.
“And the community really sees the value in this and so, and the need for that, so it’s been really good support there,” Blauwet said.
This year’s distribution will also include winter hats. For the volunteers, it’s all about helping families in the community who can’t afford winter coats for their children.
“Just to see the joy on their face. A hug from a little kid. It just warms your heart,” Zersen said.
The giveaway is taking place this Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the downtown Sioux Falls library. Your child needs to be present to make sure the coat fits.
If you’d like to donate money for Kidz-N-Coats to purchase more winter wear, go to their Venmo account: @Kidzncoats_sd