Charlotte Fire Department collecting new and gently worn coats for kids

There are 74 coat donation locations across the Carolinas

Charlotte Fire Department collecting new and gently worn coats for kids

Once again, the Charlotte Fire Department is opening up its doors to take new and gently worn coats for Steve’s Coats for Kids.

Last year, the community donated thousands of coats at Charlotte Fire Department stations.

The department partnered with WSOC-TV for the annual Steve’s Coats for Kids campaign and collected coats from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County residents.

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“The fire department provides all hazard service to the community, but we’re engaged in more than just that,” said Charlotte Fire Department Chief Reginald Johnson. “We’d like to fill gaps where gaps are identified and providing coats to children. It’s just one of those gaps that we want to participate in.”

Charlotte Fire Department Chief Reginald Johnson
Charlotte Fire Department Chief Reginald Johnson

WSOC-TV’s Steve’s Coats for Kids campaign was introduced in 2005. All coat donations are distributed through Crisis Assistance Ministry, an independent nonprofit agency focused on preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s working poor.

“Even one coat could make a difference in a child’s life. Whether they’re standing waiting for the bus or walking to school, it provides a basic need,” Johnson said. “It provides a little bit of self-confidence and improves self-esteem.”

Steve’s Coats for Kids has collected over 200,000 coats, and every donated coat spends less than 48 hours in the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store before benefiting someone in need.

“Steve’s Coats for Kids is a labor of love,” said Steve Udelson, WSOC-TV chief meteorologist. “Sometimes families in our community have to choose between paying rent, food and utility bills.  When a family can receive a free coat for their kid, it’s just one less to worry about.”

Coat collection bins are at all 43 Charlotte Fire Stations.

The Charlotte Fire Department and firefighters have been an amazing partner and their role will be crucial in the success of this year’s Steve’s Coats for Kids campaign.

You can donate new or gently worn coats at any of these 9 Family Focus partner locations: Showmars, Ashley HomeStore and E.R. Plumbing Services.

If you have an inspiring story, please contact Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte Public Affairs Manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.