Cool collection keeps kids from the cold

Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2014

For eight years, a local real estate agency has been looking out for local children by making sure they stay warm for the winter.

Coats for Kids is in full swing now, as the employees of Coldwell Banker Coastal Realty collect coats for growing children whose families cannot afford to buy winter coats.

“We have collected over 1,600 coats in the past years,” according to Coats for Kids coordinator Diane M. Edwards. “This year, we have already purchased over 160 new coats and the need keeps on growing. The requests are still pouring in.”

Coats will be donated to foster care programs, as well as local schools and other agencies that support children, in addition to young victims of the tornados that devastated Beaufort County earlier this year, Edwards said.

Edwards said that this year Coats for Kids got an early start due to a large private donation to the program on the last day of 2013. That gave her the opportunity to buy coats during the offseason, when they’re less expensive. As a result, Edwards has a storeroom full of coats but there are still sizes missing and the need doesn’t diminish.

“I need baby sizes (up to 24 months), 4T and 5T for both boys and girls,” Edwards said. “Because the requests are still pouring in, donations are appreciated so I can buy and fill in the gaps.”

The program benefits Beaufort County children because it’s not only filling a need, but also providing a gift-giving service — for many of the children, a new coat may be their only Christmas gift this year.

Collection sites are located in both Beaufort County and Hyde County at the following places: Coldwell Banker Coastal Rivers Realty, 239 W. Main St., Washington; Riddick & Windley Ace Hardware, 253 Pamlico St., Belhaven; Belhaven Community Chamber of Commerce, 101 W. Main St., Belhaven; and Greater Hyde County Chamber of Commerce, 20791 U.S. Highway 264, Swan Quarter.

Coat will be collected until Dec. 5, but donations are also accepted. For more information, contact Diane Edwards at 252-495-8912.