In 2009, the Knights of Columbus launched the coats initiative designed to keep kids warm in harsh winter climates. With many families with young children struggling in tough economic times, there was a clear need to provide warm winter coats to children in their communities. And so, the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program was born.
Since the program’s inception, the Knights of Columbus in the United States and Canada has given away more than 167,000 coats to children in need. Approximately 2,000 local Knights of Columbus councils have participated in their communities.
Every Knights of Columbus council is eligible to participate in Coats for Kids. Coats can be purchased at a cost of $220 per case of 12 (including shipping) for orders shipped to addresses in the continental United States, and $245 (including shipping) for orders shipped to Canada and other addresses outside the continental United States. Access the Coats for Kids order form at kofc.org/forms.
All cases will contain either boys’ coats or girls’ coats (never both). The size distribution in each case is: two Size S (8), four Size M (10-12), four Size L (14-16) and two Size XL (18). Smaller sizes are also available, and will automatically be included on orders of six cases or more. For orders of less than six cases in which small sizes are desired, please indicate that on the Coats for Kids order form.
Please direct any questions regarding Coats for Kids to the Department of Fraternal Services at 203-752-4625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW CONDUCT A COATS FOR KIDS PROGRAM
Distributing coats to needy children not only fills a vital need in the community, it is also an excellent was to build camaraderie among members and prospects. Seeing the joy that getting a new winter coat brings to a child will help prospects to see the Knights of Columbus as an organization they want to be part of. In the last three years, Knights of Columbus councils have distributed more than 80,000 winter coats to needy children.
As a chapter identify and target one month for all councils to put on a drive.
Make Coats for Kids a project for the entire parish community.
Conduct a Sunday Coat Drive at your parish. o Set up a sample coat. Have Knights stand out in front of church asking for donations to supply coats to those in need. o Remind them that for every $16.00 donated a coat will be issue to a kid in need.
For the 2016-2017 winter, coats purchased from the Supreme Council will cost $16.25 plus shipping (note that the Supreme Council will absorb 50% of the shipping costs).
Assess the, need in the community. Pastors and Catholic school principals can be excellent resources in identifying children who would benefit from this program.
Purchase the coats using the form on www.kofc.org/forms
Schedule a distribution date, time and location. Parish halls, Catholic school gyms or council homes all make good distribution sites. Invite the entire parish to participate.
Publicize the distribution among the recipients. Also, advise local media.
Host a “Thank You” or “Open House” reception for all volunteers who gave of their time and talent. Let all – especially non-members – know how much their efforts are appreciated. Let prospects know that they are welcome and needed in your council…then ask them to join.