Remember last winter and the “Polar Vortex” that haunted weather forecasts from December through March? You may ask, “Who doesn’t remember it?” With the onset of fall and the return of kaleidoscope trees, we are once again thinking about the challenges that families in our communities experience during cold winter months.

Coats family

Capt. Aaron Ortman helps a family choose coats

For 28 years The Salvation Army has partnered with Indianapolis television station WTHR and Tuchman Cleaners to collect, clean and distribute well over 200,000 winter coats to Central Indiana children in need. New and gently used coats in all sizes are needed to help families who cannot afford the extra expense of winter gear for their growing children. In 2013, over 4,200 children “shopped” at Coats for Kids with their parents and family members to find the perfect coat and perfect fit.

Coats Bloomington

A “Shield Against the Cold”

From its beginning, The Salvation Army has made it a priority to clothe and protect the most vulnerable members of our population – children. Today we continue that tradition and mission with programs in communities around the world, including across the State of Indiana.

For the fourth year, The Salvation Army Lafayette Corps is partnering with local television station WLFI to collect and distribute coats through its own Coats for Kids program, which served over 3,000 Tippecanoe County residents in 2013. The Salvation Army Bloomington Corps asks Monroe County residents to be a “Shield Against the Cold” by dropping off coats at almost twenty area businesses during the month of October. Programs in Evansville, Kokomo, Fort Wayne, Shelbyville and other communities help thousands more children prepare for winter weather.

Coats hats

Hats, gloves and scarves ready for kids to wear

When it comes to the safety and well-being of our children, communities across Indiana look to The Salvation Army as a local resource for the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, water and clothing. Of course, every coat that warms a child also warms their heart with life’s greatest gift – love.

(Want to find out if your local Salvation Army is taking part in a coat collection this fall? Visit our Corps Community Centers page to find contact information for a location near you!)