Charlotte Fire brings thousands of donated coats for kids in need

Our amazing community continues to give

Charlotte Fire brings thousands of donated coats for kids in need
“Charlotte Fire Department is a lot more than just responding to emergency incidents. We are a part of the community and this is just us giving back to the community,” said Charlotte Fire Department Chief Reginald Johnson.

The Charlotte Fire Department just helped chief meteorologist Steve Udelson wrap up his annual Steve’s Coats for Kids collection drive, and they did it in the biggest way possible.

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Over the last few months, Charlotte fire stations turned into donation drop off spots for the coat drive. That enabled our team to collect thousands of coats from those spots alone.

On this last day of donations, we spoke with Chief Johnson. He says giving means a lot, especially given how hard this year has been on all of us.

“We have many needs in our community in a normal year, and COVID-19 exacerbated that need,” Johnson said.

A year of hardships, struggles and fear was no match for the kindness of strangers.

Earlier this year, Udelson recruited Charlotte Fire to help with his annual Steve’s Coats for Kids collection drive. Our first responders answered the call.

Today, firefighters loaded an entire box truck with coats you donated.

Bags on top of bags, stuffed with coats meant to keep children warm this winter.

And even in a year when not everybody was able to give, Johnson says, like in most emergencies, first responders were there – ready to respond.

“There have been some limitations for people being able to donate, so we’re glad to fill that gap,” Johnson said. “Charlotte Fire Department is a lot more than just responding to emergency incidents. We are part of the community, and this is just giving back to the community.”

Since working with our team, the fire department has helped WSOC-TV collect more than 200,000 coats.

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.

And as we wrap up another year of giving, all we can say here at Channel 9 is thank you.

You never know what one coat could mean for a child who may have otherwise gone cold this winter.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, public affairs manager at WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.