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“Koats for Kids” Providing Warm Winter to Winnipeg Kids

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In Winnipeg, a heartwarming tradition is in full swing. Koats for Kids gathers the city’s community each year to unite and “Share the Warmth.” This noble cause collects and distributes over 6,000 winter coats, ski pants, boots, and countless hats, mittens, and scarves to children and families in need.

Melissa Burgess, senior manager and engagement initiatives at United Way Winnipeg, told Civic Platform that Koats for Kids is part of our commitment to helping kids be all they can be. 

“We know that winters are brutally cold in Winnipeg, and it is important for kids and families to have the items they need to get out into the community and enjoy winter. Since 1989, Koats for Kids has been working with people in the community, partners, volunteers, and donors to collect, clean, and distribute winter coats, ski pants, boots, hats, and scarves to kids and families in the community who need them.”

Supporting initiatives like Koats for Kids is crucial for the community and, most importantly, children. In colder regions like Winnipeg, adequate winter clothing is not just a luxury but a necessity. Children are more vulnerable to the harsh cold, and providing them with warm coats, mittens, and scarves is essential for their health and well-being.

Burgess added cold temperatures pose a considerable challenge for Winnipeg’s people. 

“We understand that when the temperature drops to -10 to -20 or even colder, it is not feasible to wait for the bus or walk to and from school with just a hoodie or a light jacket. It is crucial for kids to have the proper gear to get to school safely. That is where Coats for Kids comes in. For many families, we can provide winter coats, ski pants, boots, hats, and everything they need to get to school safely.”

Every child deserves access to warm clothing, regardless of socioeconomic background. Koats for Kids promotes equality by ensuring no child is left out in the cold, helping them maintain their dignity and self-esteem. When children are properly dressed for winter, they are more likely to attend school regularly. Inadequate clothing can lead to absenteeism due to health issues, which can impact a child’s education and future opportunities.

– Zuher Almusre, U Multicultural

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