Coats for Kids, delivering more than warmth

KENMORE, N.Y. (WIVB) – “All you have to do is be in here and see these parents and children come in in short sleeve shirts, light weight jackets. It’s 35 to 40 degrees today.,” that’s what Paul Billoni, President and Owner of Colvin Cleaners had to say as as a couple hundred people made their way into the processing plant for Colvin Cleaners to pick out a much needed article of clothing, a good warm coat. For the people behind Coats for Kids, it’s a tireless effort that makes it all happen.

“We’re out dropping off bins, picking up coats, in fact just yesterday, we had St. John the Baptist, Canisius High School, St. Joe’s High School and we haven’t even been able to clean those yet.”

Colvin Cleaners is just one of the distribution centers along with Capitol Cleaners in the Falls and the St. Vincent dePaul Society. And the need has never been greater.  “Yes, for some people. For some people that don’t have jobs, it’s a perfect opportunity,” said Monique Cooley from Buffalo.

With even colder temperatures on the way this coming week, the timing could not have been better. So it means a lot…”Yes it does, because Buffalo is very cold and the cold weather that’s coming, you’re going to need it,” added Cooley.
The added warmth provided by this clothing is especially valuable to someone who has had some bum luck and is now faced with lasting symptoms. Angelic Ruffins feels the cold even more than most of us. “I got hit by a car. I had two broken legs, a fractured tibia and fractured hips. When the cold weather starts coming, my legs will tighten up and they’ll start hurting,” said Ruffins.

The true warmth may not have even come from the coats that were given away today, “Every year we see smiles on people’s faces and that just means so much to all of us and all of our volunteers,” said Billoni.

Coat distribution will be at the following locations.

Saturday, December 6, 2014, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Capitol Cleaners
1227 Main Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14301

Thursday, November 20, 2013, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
St. Vincent DePaul Society
1298 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14209

Families will be able to select a coat for each child at the above coat distribution locations on the dates listed. Mark Zirnheld, Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul will coordinate the distribution of coats. The following items of identification will be needed to receive a child’s coat or jacket.

The Parent or Guardian will need BOTH of the following:
Benefit Card
Photo ID

ONE of the following forms of ID for each child is also needed:
Birth Certificate
Social Security Card
Medicaid Card
Benefit Card

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