Family Focus

100 pound dynamo collects tons of coats for kids in need

If you ever wonder where the coats you donate to Steve’s Coats for Kids go after you put them in a collection bin, then meet Juliana.

Juliana is part of the Cintas team, and for the sixth year, Cintas has collected for Steve’s Coats for Kids, led by Channel 9 chief meteorologist Steve Udelson.

WSOC-TV’s Steve’s Coats for Kids’ campaign is part of the Channel 9 Family Focus brand and was introduced in 2005. Steve’s Coats for Kids runs through Dec. 31, 2021.

Thousands of coats each year are accounted for and inspected by Cintas.

Don’t let her 5-foot-2-inch 100-pound frame fool you, Juliana hits the road and makes stops across the Carolinas and has already collected literally tons of coats.

Each coat is sorted, hung and inspected. For those coats that need extra attention, Cintas launders, replaces buttons, hems and otherwise does whatever it takes to get them looking almost new.

Generally, each coat is out of a collection bin and ready for the back of a local child in need within days of being donated.

Here in Charlotte, Cintas has provided this incredible service to the community for free to help make life easier for some of the area’s children who are most in need.

Steve’s Coats for Kids has collected nearly 250,000 coats, and every donated coat spends less than 48 hours in the Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Free Store before benefiting someone in need.

An independent nonprofit agency, the Crisis Assistance Ministry focuses on preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s working poor — providing assistance with rent, utilities, clothing and furniture.

The next time you see a Cintas driver, or Juliana, picking up coats, give them a special thank you because they are doing a great service for the community.

Udelson is asking viewers to donate new or gently used children’s coats of all sizes for needy children in the Charlotte area.

“The need has never been greater. I urge you to go through your closets and consider donating any of your ‘gently used’ coats,” Udelson said. “Thousands of Metro area kids go unprotected from the elements. Now, as we continue to endure some extraordinarily tough times, the need has never been greater.”

This campaign has been brought together through various partnerships and our 9 Family Focus sponsors which include Arby’s, Ashley HomeStore, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Gastroenterology and Hepatology and E.R. Plumbing Services.

There are over 100 collection points across the Carolinas, including Arby’s, Ashley HomeStore, E.R. Plumbing Services and all Charlotte fire stations.


Learn more about how your donation can impact the community at

If you have an inspiring story, please contact Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at

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