As we launch into full winter mode here in OKC, there are plenty of people who will need coats and other gear to keep warm. Here are some ways to help:
- The Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) district already has distributed more than 5,000 new coats to children in need through a partnership with the national nonprofit organization Operation Warm. The organization accepts monetary donations, and then OKCPS buys the new coats to distribute to students in need this winter. Although OKCPS is wrapping up the campaign for funds that began this summer, it is still accepting donations to help and still identifying students’ needs. To donate, send a check or money order with the words “OKCPS Coat-A-Kid project” in the memo to Operation Warm, P.O. Box 822431, Philadelphia, PA 19182-2431 or donate online.
- For more than 30 years, those in need have been able to “shop” for Christmas gifts and other supplies and clothing in a department store setting where all the merchandise is free. Although it started out as a seasonal nonprofit organization, The Christmas Connection has developed into a service agency that provides support throughout the year through five programs: Christmas Shopping Days, School Connections, Crisis Relief, Senior Shopping Days and General Shopping for basic needs. It only takes $20 to give a child a winter coat. Donate funds online, or donate items by dropping them off at Christmas Connection, Inc., 5728 S May Ave., or at one of four Quik Print locations, 3403 Northwest Expressway, 7206 N Western Ave., 406 NW 23 or 10633 N May Ave.
- Infant Crisis Services, Inc., is in need of coats for its littlest clients.
- Give to Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter coat drive, which goes to the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command for distribution. Among other locations in central Oklahoma, you can drop off items in Oklahoma City at KFOR-TV NewsChannel 4, 444 E Britton Road; The Salvation Army – Oklahoma City, 1001 N Pennsylvania; Earlywine Park YMCA, 11801 S May; and The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City, 7624 W Reno Ave. , #380. Also, participating Jersey Mike’s restaurants are giving away Philly Cheese subs to those bringing in a new coat for donation through Dec. 21. Find more information on the Warmth 4 Winter website.