Unprecedented Demand Leaves Coat Drive in Need
First day distribution of over 5,000 free coats outpaces donations
Photo: A before and after, from left to right, at the Knights of Columbus in Kenmore. On the day of the first distribution, many of the coat donations were completely wiped out.
Kenmore, NY November 15, 2019 —As a result of distributing a one-day record high of more than 5,200 coats at its first free Colvin Cleaners Coats 4 Kids event on November 4, a desperate need for kids’ coats exists for the two remaining free coat distributions. As a result, Colvin Cleaners is again reaching out to the WNY community for donations of gently used kids’ coats along with the option of purchasing coats on-line or making cash donations for the purchase of coats.
“At this point, it’s very likely that we will not have enough coats for every child who comes through the door at our next two distributions. Having a winter coat for every child has always been our mission with this project,” said Christopher Billoni, vice president of Colvin Cleaners. “We gave away more coats in the first hour last week than we did in three hours last year. And while the families were extremely appreciative, we were overwhelmed by the number of people in this community who came in need of coats and winter accessories.”
The next free Coats 4 Kids distribution will be Saturday, November 23 at True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 East Ferry St., Buffalo 14211 from 10-1 p.m. That will be followed by a final distribution on Saturday, December 7 at The Belle Center, 104 Maryland St., Buffalo 14201. There is limit of one coat per person and proper identification is needed.
Donations of coats, gloves, hats, scarves, snow suits and boots for the 24th annual Coats 4 Kids program, sponsored by The Allstate Foundation and supported by WIVB-TV and TowneSquare Media Group, can be made at Colvin Cleaners, 2375 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore and many of the Allstate Insurance agencies throughout WNY.
For a complete listing and addresses of all donation sites, visit www.coats4kidswny.com.
Additionally, for the first time, Colvin Cleaners is accepting cash donations that will be used to purchase new coats.
Donations can be made on-line at https://www.coatsforkidswny.com/donatenow through the Colvin Cleaners Facebook page. A receipt will be automatically sent to the donor and 100 percent of all donations will be used to purchase coats. Coats 4 Kids is a registered 501c3.
Anyone who would like to order kids’ coats through their favorite on-line store, such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohls, etc., can have them delivered directly to Colvin Cleaners at 2375 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore, N.Y. 14217 and marked Attn: Coats 4 Kids.
“The freezing cold and snow we are experiencing now reminds us of the reality of our winters.
This program is all about every child having a warm coat, gloves, hats and boots. We are confident this community of great neighbors will come through again and help us fill our racks with kids’ coats,” added Erica Billoni of Colvin Cleaners.
Over the past 23 years, Colvin Cleaners has collected, cleaned, sorted and distributed more than 105,000 coats to kids and families in need throughout WNY for free.
About Colvin Cleaners: Colvin Cleaners was founded by Phil Billoni nearly 90 years ago. His brothers, Tony and Santo worked in the business for over 50 years and Tony’s son, Paul and his wife, Cyndee, have worked there for more than 40 years. Their son Christopher is Vice President and daughter, Erica, are the third- generation members of the family business. Colvin Cleaners is the only WNY drycleaners to use the environmentally friendly Green Earth cleaning solution. For more information, visit www.colvincleaners.com.
About The Allstate Foundation: Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, empowering youth and celebrating the charitable community involvement of Allstate agency owners and employees.The Allstate Foundation works to bring out the good in people’s lives. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org