Keystone Coats for Kids fundraiser underway

From staff reports

For the fourth year, Keystone Coats for Kids is starting its winter coat drive.

The first drive was in 2015 and there were 270 coats purchased that year.

In 2016, the goal was to sell 500 coats and that goal was met and passed by a total of 507 coats being purchased; and, in 2017, a total of 516 coats were purchased and a woman from Caps for Kids donated 220 caps for the event.

In the past, coats have been given to schools in Clarion County, Allegheny-Clarion Valley First program, Keystone SMILES, Clarion County Promise, head start programs, Clarion County Children and Youth Services, local day cares, Next Step Therapy, Knox Caring Cupboard and Clarion Psychiatric Center.

The coats are purchased through Operation Warm was started by Dick Sanford in the winter of 1998, after he drove past a group of children without coats huddled together at a bus stop in Kennett Square.

The sight of the children led Sanford to a local store where he purchased 58 coats which were given directly to children in need. His generosity inspired the creation of Operation Warm and since then millions of coats have been purchased as a result of communities working together to improve the livelihood of children in need.

All coats are fleece-lined and have a fleece-lined hood. The cost of each coat is $18, but no donation is too small, organizers said.

Checks can be made out to “Keystone Coats for Kids” and mailed to or dropped off at Farmers National Bank, P.O. Box 665, Knox, Pa., 16232. They also may be taken to Knox Auto Supply in Knox or New Bethlehem.

Deadline for donations is Oct. 20.