Since 2005, WSOC-TV’s Steve’s Coats for Kids has collected new- and gently-worn coats for local children who live 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 spending money on rent, food and utility bills or purchasing a coat. When a family can receive a free coat for their kid, it’s just one less thing to worry about.”
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.
The Charlotte Independence Soccer Club is kicking in to help.
“As a community, as a state, as a country, there are people out there with needs,” said Mark Wright, Charlotte Independence Soccer Club advisor.
The Charlotte Independence professional soccer team joined the United Soccer League Championship as an expansion team in September 2014.
The negative financial ramifications of the coronavirus has become problematic for families on a fixed budget or who have lost their jobs, so coat donations this year to Steve’s Coats for Kids is more urgent than ever.
“Community service is absolutely critical,” Wright said. “It’s important for us to be reminded and understand that some of us are a little bit more privileged than others, and we need to share and use our respective platforms to concentrate on outreach.”
The team is active on many levels to improve the lives of people like community soccer clinics to reach kids 6 to 12 years old, with a positive message about physical fitness, nutrition and values learned through sports.
“Not everyone has the same financial means as others,” Wright said. “Most people go into the closet and they have their pick a coat to wear today based on the outfit and it’s not even a thought. But there are people in our community who don’t have those means and don’t have those options. This is why it’s important for us to just be reminded and understand those needs.”
Last month, the Charlotte Independence and first-team players Clay Dimick and Brandon Miller joined forces with Alianza de Futbol in support of their initiative, Alianza Contigo (Alliance With You) to distribute household items and 2,000 meal boxes.
Alianza de Futbol is a national organization dedicated to the support and development of amateur Hispanic soccer in the United States.
There are more than 70 Steve’s Coats for Kids donation locations across the Carolinas including Showmars, Ashley HomeStore, E.R. Plumbing Services, Crisis Assistance Ministry and all Charlotte fire stations.
You can find out more information and how you can get involved at www.StevesCoatsForKids.com
If you have an inspiring story, please contact Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte Public Affairs Manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
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