MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Coats being collected for needy families

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Can you imagine getting through a Dayton winter without a warm coat or a pair of mittens?

Thanks to the popular Coats for Kids project, needy families in the Miami Valley can stay cozy with coats and accessories donated by generous folks in the Miami Valley, including many of our Make a Difference readers. The drive, led by WDTN and Dayton’s CW, is now in its 39th year.

Since the inception of the campaign, Coats for Kids has collected and distributed over 600,000 coats and winter accessories to both children and adults throughout our area. The campaign was originally spearheaded by former chief meteorologist Carl Nichols of WDTN-TV.

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“We’re committed to making sure coats and winter accessories get to those in need before the cold winter ahead,” said Melissa Jones, vice president and general manager of WDTN. “We’re thankful for our great partners and the generosity of the Miami Valley who’ve kept this campaign going strong for nearly 40 years.”

The project kicked off on Sept. 9 and runs through Oct. 14. Sponsors for the campaign include LCNB National Bank, Grismer Tire & Auto Service Centers and Catholic Social Services. In-kind partners include Cintas Corporation, which has been laundering the donations free of charge for the past 15 years and RUSH Transportation and Logistics which transport the coats at no charge.

Eric Meilstrup, President & CEO of the bank, notes that many Miami Valley families face challenges with rising costs and limited resources and a new coat for the winter season can make a big difference. “We encourage you to drop by one of our local LCNB branches to donate a new or gently used coat this season,” he says.

What’s most needed? “Of course kids and adult coats, but it’s actually winter accessories that go the fastest,” says the TV station’s creative director Jason Doyle. “Winter caps, mittens, gloves and scarves go quickly!”

Are there coats hanging in your closet that members of your family have outgrown or don’t wear? Consider weeding through your mittens and scarves and donating some of those as well.

Here’s what they need:

* New or gently used washable coats for both children and adults

  • Scarves
  • Gloves, mittens
  • Earmuffs
  • Hats

Your donations can be dropped off at any sponsor location including any Grismer Tire and Auto Service Center and LCNB bank branches. Look for the Coats for Kids Collection Barrels.

For a complete list of drop-off locations plus information on Distribution Day, visit

Need a coat?

The collected donations will be delivered to area organizations on Friday, Nov. 5 for distribution. They include Catholic Social Services of The Miami Valley, St. Vincent DePaul, House of Bread, Miami Valley Child Development Services and the University of Dayton’s Echo Program.

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“We’ll do everything we can to get these important winter coats and accessories to every single person who may need them,” says Doyle.

If you and members of your family need a coat, call one of these agencies or call the TV station at 937-293-2101.


Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith:

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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