Charlotte Checkers fans donate hundreds of coats for kids in need

For years, the Charlotte Checkers have joined WSOC-TV for the television station’s annual Steve’s Coats for Kids initiative.

On Saturday, the Checkers hosted a special coat collection for Steve’s Coats as the Checkers took on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

“The community is important to any part of what we do,” said Paul Branecky, Charlotte Checkers vice president of marketing and communications. “It gives our fans an easy way to give back, which they really enjoy doing.”

With the support of the Charlotte Checkers, those who brought new or gently used coats to the Charlotte Checkers game on Nov. 6 received a free ticket to the Checkers game on Dec. 10.

If you donated a coat, you were entered in a free raffle for an autographed Charlotte Checkers jersey.

“This time of year it’s starting to get really chilly,” Branecky said. “I think if we take a second to realize how thankful you are for your own coat. Not everyone is so lucky.”

WSOC-TV’s Steve’s Coats for Kids campaign was introduced in 2005.

All donations are distributed through the Crisis Assistance Ministry, an independent nonprofit agency focused on preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s working poor.

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

“This year my family has a closet full of coats that the kids have outgrown, and they can definitely be put to better use than just sitting in the closet,” Branecky said.

There are more than 100 Steve’s Coats for Kids donation locations across the Carolinas, including Arby’s, Ashley HomeStore, E.R. Plumbing Services, Crisis Assistance Ministry and all Charlotte fire stations.


You can find out more information and discover how you can get involved at

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

See more great pictures from the special coat collection here ->