Family Focus

Coat donations will help thousands of kids. Here’s one

During the winter months it can get pretty chilly.  At WSOC-TV, our aim is to keep children warm.

Our 18th annual Steve’s Coats for Kids drive is underway.

We spoke to one mom who stopped by Crisis Assistance Ministry to get a free coat for her 18-month-old son Cameron.

“There’s a lot of kids in need, especially it’s getting really cold out here. We come here every now and then to get a few coats and shoes,” Jaylen Johnson said.

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.

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 Free Store before benefiting someone in need.

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

“Finances are hard nowadays especially trying to do it on your own, so it is very beneficial,” Johnson said. “We just need to help each other out.”

Her son Cam picked Carolina Panther blue, and it went well with his Cam Newton team jersey.

Thanks to Cintas Charlotte, 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 the coats looking almost new.

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

There are over 100 collection points across the Carolinas, including at 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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