First free distribution held Saturday at Kenmore Knights of Columbus
The first of three free giveaways of coats and winter items resulted in a Colvin Cleaners "Coats For Kids" record one-day distribution of nearly 6,500 coats, gloves, scarves and hats Saturday at the Kenmore Knights of Columbus. The result of the overwhelming outpouring of families in need was a call by the company for more donations of kids' winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves.
The 23rd annual Colvin Cleaners "Coats For Kids" campaign, sponsored by The All-State Foundation and Fidelis Care, set a campaign record in 2017 when it distributed 13,350 coats. Throughout the years Colvin Cleaners has collected, cleaned, sorted and distributed, for free, more than 80,000 coats to children in need throughout WNY.
"We had more than 400 people checked in prior to our 9 a.m. opening and, by 9:05, the entire Knights of Columbus basketball court was filled with people going through the racks looking for the perfect winter coat," said Paul A. Billoni, president and CEO of the family-owned Colvin Cleaners. "It was the most organized mayhem ever and it was gratifying to see so many families happy because they found winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves for their family members. That makes it all worthwhile for us."
Billoni said that, during the two weeks before the next distribution on Nov. 17 at True Bethel Baptist Church, Colvin Cleaners is putting out a call for donations of gently used or new winter coats, jackets, gloves, hats and scarves for toddlers to young adults for families in need this winter season. For a complete listing and addresses of all locations to donate, visit www.colvincleaners.com
The remaining "Coats 4 Kids" distribution dates are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 17 at True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St, Buffalo; and Dec. 1 at Lake Erie Italian Club, 3200 South Park Ave., Lackawanna.