Wenatchee area school kids in need will be getting help to stay warm this winter after the annual Coats for Kids drive over the weekend.

Coats for Kids Drive 2023 KPQ
Coats for Kids Drive 2023 KPQ

The radio stations of Townsquare Media, along with Apple Valley Honda and The Wenatchee World teamed up for the effort to gather gently used coats, gloves, and hats.

The drive took place Saturday 10am-2pm at the Albretson's parking lot in Wenatchee.

The items that are donated will be distributed to kids of all ages at area schools by Serve Wenatchee Valley.

Serve Wenatchee is a houseless prevention organization which offers rent and utility assistance to families struggling to make ends meet.

The group also has a food bank that operates as a grocery store and a furniture warehouse to assist people in need.

Serve Wenatchee Valley delivered about 1,250 coats last year to area schools after collecting about 1,000 coats and purchasing 250 others through money donations.

The coats are delivered to schools in the Wenatchee and Eastmont school districts, with any overage sent to the extended local area, including school in the Cascade and Entiat districts.

Serve Wenatchee executive director Tom Nees says temperatures in the 30s and 40s Saturday may have helped to boost donations.

"It fits a little bit better with what we're doing, which is collecting coats," said Nees. "It's chilly outside and you can feel it. If it's 60-70 degrees you don't quite feel it like you do this year."

Serve Wenatchee will next organize it's Baskets of Blessing event, which will provide 500 Thanksgiving baskets for people in need on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

That'll be followed by a collaboration with the Les Schwab toy drive to provide 130-140 family parents the opportunity to collect Christmas presents for their kids. The Christmas program is meant to support parents in giving presents to about 400 kids.

Serve Wenatchee Valley is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Nees says their funding comes about 90 percent through community donations.

"It comes from partner churches that we have in the community, partner businesses and a lot of individuals," Nees said.

The organization also gets some grant funding through the community foundation and Numerica Credit Union.

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