The back-to-school shopping tradition is returning this summer in force and new winter coats are sure to be on many lists.
Yet for families who saw their financial circumstances worsen during the COVID-19 crisis, buying new coats may be out of reach at a time when most schools nationwide are planning to return to an in-person school year.
To combat this cold reality, One Warm Coat has launched a back-to-school initiative encouraging families, individuals, and groups to hold coat drives, donate gently worn or new coats, and make financial donations to help ensure children in need have adequate protection against the cold.
“The thought of children shivering in the cold without a coat as they walk to school or wait at bus stops is heart-wrenching,” said Beth Amodio, president and CEO of One Warm Coat. “COVID-19 caused coat drive registrations to decline by more than 50 percent last year, at a time in which poverty increased. We’re calling on the public to help us make up lost ground now before the temperatures start to plummet.”
Cold Weather Risks
Extreme cold can pose life-threatening risks to those who aren’t adequately protected. Cold weather makes the body work harder to prevent hypothermia, which puts more stress on the heart. Additionally, children are unable to regulate their body temperatures as adults do and can quickly develop hypothermia without protection from the cold. No child should miss school or be forced to stay inside during recess because their family cannot afford a coat.
You Can Help
There are several ways to make a difference:
- Organize a coat drive in your community using One Warm Coat’s free tools and resources
- Donate gently worn or new coats at a location near you
- Make a financial contribution. Every $1 donated warms 1 person