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Annual coat drive to provide warmth to thousands of kids: 'There's so much heart in it'

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 10:19:22-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The annual "Coats for Kids" drive is coming to a close after another successful month.

“It grows every year; this year seems to be one of the biggest that we’ve had," said long-time Puritan Cleaners employee Barbara Dickson, referring to the annual "Coats for Kids" drive.

"It all began “Our Coat Drive runs the month of November, so starts November 1," said Puritan Cleaners employee Sara Moncrieff.

The coat drive is coming to an end with a November 30 deadline, which means there's a day left so there's still time to donate brand new or lightly loved coats.

Gerri Bullock is a Puritan Cleaners Tailor and this is her sixth year helping with Coats for Kids 

“It’s wonderful to fix the little sleeve or put a little button on it fix the little collar, it’s great," Bullock said.

Puritan Cleaners has been helping the community feel the warmth of a new to them coat since 1988.

They dry clean every donated coat.

But it’s the public, Sara Moncrieff said, that makes the Coat a Reality.

“It’s all because of people in our Community, who took the time to look in their closet, take a coat that they weren’t wearing anymore, kids weren’t wearing anymore, donate it and give it to somebody who could use it."

For 2021, this year's donations have added up “between 13 and 17 thousand coats" according to Moncrieff.

 Barbara Dickson has 45 years with Puritan Cleaners and was here at the start of Coats for Kids in 1988.

The thousands of extra coats to clean, Dickson says, isn’t a problem.

“It’s a little extra work but it’s not really tough because you know what you’re doing and you know where they’re going, they’re going to a good cause."

She says the work is spread out throughout the month.

“The employees, they take turns, everybody gets involved, everybody has a little part in it."

For the employees who help load a 48-foot trailer full of Coats, "Coats For Kids" is so much more than a slogan.

“There’s so much heart in it," said Moncrieff.

Come Christmas Day, Barbara Dickson says the Coat Drive will have an immediate impact.

“It means Christmas to a lot of families that otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas."

“I hope every person who received one of these coats feels how loved they were because that was so much love that went into this," Sara Moncrieff said.

Tuesday marks the last day that coats can be dropped off at your local Puritan Cleaners.