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Colvin Cleaners' 22nd annual 'Coats 4 Kids' campaign distributes record 13,350 coats

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Fri, Dec 22nd 2017 03:05 pm
The 22nd annual Colvin Cleaners "Coats 4 Kids Program," sponsored by The Allstate Foundation and Fidelis Care, distributed a record 13,350 winter coats, along with hats, gloves, and scarves for local children in need, according to Paul A. Billoni, president and CEO of Colvin Cleaners Inc.
Since its inception, Colvin Cleaners has distributed nearly 95,000 coats through its "Coats 4 Kids" program. "Coats 4 Kids" distributed 5,350 coats in 2016, which was a record then.
The announcement was made earlier this week at True Bethel Baptist Church with its pastor, Bishop Darius G. Pridgeon. Billoni donated more than 1,000 coats and winter items to the church's coat and clothing ministry.
"We extend a heartfelt thank you to the generosity of Western New Yorkers who donated so many coats, hats, gloves and scarves this year, especially when our donations were so low at the start of this campaign because of the unusually warm fall," Billoni said. "We also saw an unprecedented need in winter coats from so many places in our community. It has been so gratifying to provide them with coats for our severe winter months."
The employees of New Era Cap donated more than 1,500 wool caps for the kids. Cash donations, made by the Per Niente Club, Frey Electric, Market In The Square and the Kenmore Lion's Club, were used to purchase new coats at the Park Avenue Coat Co., which provided them at a reasonable cost.
For the first time, "Coats 4 Kids" held three public distributions the past two months at True Bethel Baptist Church, Colvin Cleaners in Kenmore and the Knights of Columbus in Hamburg. Nearly 6,000 coats were distributed during those events.
The remainder of the coats were donated to these local organizations: EPIC (Every Person Influences Children), Big Brother Big Sister, Restoration Society, Holy Cross Church, Calvary Baptist Church, St. Rose of Lima Church, Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network, Olmstead School No. 64, School No. 53, True Bethel's Church Ministry, Hearts for the Homeless, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, the International Institute of Buffalo, F.A.T.H.E.R.S. (Fathers Armed Together to Help, Educate, Restore and Save) and Upper Room God of Christ Church all of Buffalo; Bethesda Full Gospel Church, Ken-Ton Closet, Ben Franklin and Holmes Elementary Schools of Tonawanda.
In addition, Colvin Cleaners provided more than 200 coats and winter items to families relocated locally from Puerto Rico, due to Hurricane Maria through the Hispanic Heritage Council.
Each year, Colvin Cleaners collects new or gently used warm winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves for anyone from toddlers to young adults for families in need. The items are cleaned at no cost to the program and organized by size for distribution by the Colvin Cleaners staff and many volunteers.
More than 50 companies, churches, organizations and schools collected coats for this year's program, They included: Uniland Development, Paddock Chevrolet, Paula's Donuts, Park Avenue Coat Co., New Era Cap, Collision Masters, Native Pride Truck Plaza, True Bethel Baptist Church, Northtown Automotive, Merchants Insurance, Unyts, Fitness Factory, Lawley Insurance, Rich Products Corp., UPD Dental Associates, St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, Mount Saint Mary's Academy, Cardinal O'Hara, Canisius High School, Kenmore West High School, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corps, The Sullivan's Division.
This year a live coat drive was held Nov. 28 at Russell's Steaks Chops & More and Market In The Square. It resulted in 5,800 coats collected.
"This campaign is so important to our community and our staff. It is so worthwhile to assist families select a coat or gloves to keep them warm this winter. When they smile and say 'Thank you,' it puts tears in your eyes," Billoni explained.
For more information on Colvin Cleaners, visit www.colvincleaners.com.

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