MERRILLVILLE | Coats for Kids and Families is an organization that has benefited many families in need over the years.
"The organization started as a group at a church when lots of kids were noticed not wearing coats in the cold winter months. The group then grew to people outside the church such as local food banks and shelters," Coats for Kids and Families organizer Mr. Chris Swinford said.
Now the charity has grown to both kids and parents across Northwest Indiana and parts of Illinois.
"We came to the thought one day that if kids didn't have coats then their parents probably didn't, so we changed the name of the charity from Coats for Kids to Coats for Kids and Families," Coats for Kids and Families participant Mr. Swinford said.
The charity collects gently used coats, scarves, wind breakers and other outer winter clothes for families in need. Once the winter clothing is collected, the charity makes sure that the clothes are washed, and then set them up for giveaway days.
The two giveaway days are Saturday, November 2, and Saturday, November 9. The first date is at Merrillville Intermediate School and the second is at Central Baptist Church, 704 W. 700 North, Hobart, Mr. Swinford said.
"Anyone in need can come and get what they need for the winter. Unlike many charities, we do not require any notification that someone is in need. We simply rely on trust," he added.
Over the years the Merrillville School Corporation has helped the charity. Many groups such as STAND, Young Man on a Mission, Key Club and the 4-H club have helped.
"I would like to give a special thanks to MHS for being such a huge supporter,” Mr. Swinford said. “Also thanks to Dr. Sperling who is the Board President and has been a huge help."