Jen Baliant / Submitted photo

Jen Baliant / Submitted photo

Annual Coats for Kids program returns to offer warmer winter

Gently used coat donations are welcomed until season end

As winter is slowly setting in and we cozy up in warm clothing, the annual Coats for Kids program by Sylvan Lake Community Partners Association is asking residents to donate gently used coats sitting in closet corners to someone who could make better use of it.

Community Partners Association events coordinator Jen Baliant said, “Donate any winter items that your children or yourself are not using, it definitely helps out people who can’t afford to go buy brand new.” She added, “It is a very much needed service that benefits the whole town. We just partnered with the Gulls Give Foundation. So every item that is donated from now until the end of December, they are going to donate $2 to a maximum of $2,000. The foundation is really pushing to have that maximum met.”

Over the years, this annual program has ensured thousands of children stay warm during winter, reaching out to over 300 children last year. The program usually runs from Oct. 1 until the end of winter.

Baliant said, “We usually run till the end of February or mid-March. We just watch to see what the weather is like and if still is pretty cold at the beginning of March, we continue for a few more weeks.” She added, “We’ve received quite a few already so far. It was a slow start just because October was so nice, but now we are seeing a little bit of an increase.”

Baliant suggests people donate any coats in good condition. “No rips or tears, the zippers still work, and not overly stained. Just make sure it is clean at least to bring in,” she added.

The program partners with Crystal Clean Laundromat (A3, 5043 50A St.) and Seabreeze Cleaners (90C Hewlett Park Landing) to ensure the coats are clean before being handed out. Coats that require cleaning can be dropped off at one of the two cleaning partners, or at the Community Partners’ office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. through the back door at 4936 50th Ave.