For most of us, it's unthinkable to imagine we'd survive winter without a nice warm coat. But many people in Minnesota don't have a winter coat, and the expense of keeping growing children in coats means that thousands of kids in the Metro area don't have a winter coat or jacket.
If you or your children need a winter coat, but can't afford to buy one, here's a list of local organizations who can help.
Sharing And Caring Hands - Minneapolis - 612-338-4640
Catholic Charities - Minneapolis - 612-664-8500
Lutheran Social Services - St. Paul - 651-969-2334
St. Louis Park Emergency Program, STEP - St. Louis Park - 952-925-4899
CEAP - Brooklyn Park - 763-566-9600
Hope for the City - Minnetonka - 952-897-7799
Sabathani Community Center - Minneapolis - 612-821-2347
Joseph's Coat - St. Paul - 651-291-2472
The Salvation Army - Metrowide, coats will be available from October 29 -651-746-3412
People Serving People - Minneapolis - 612-332-4500
Neighbors, Inc - South St. Paul - 651-455-1508
CHAP Ministries - Burnsville - 952-890-8222
These organizations can only help those in need with the assistance of donations. If you have a spare winter coat in good condition, or just found out that your kids grew out of last year's coats during the summer, or your teenagers can't possibly be seen in last year's coat - donating them to one of the organizations above can make the difference between a miserable, cold winter, and a warm one to whoever receives it. Donating clothing to a non-profit organization is tax deductible. Check the website of the organizations closest to you for donation information.
While coats and warm jackets are needed the most, other seasonal wear like winter boots, hats, warm gloves, and other seasonally appropriate clothing are also needed.
Another way to donate a coat and get something in return is to take it to Midwest Mountaineering, the outdoor outfitters in Minneapolis, between now and October 31. If you bring a new or gently used coat or winter jacket to the store, they'll give you 10% off the purchase of a new winter coat from the store. Last time I was in Midwest Mountaineering, their rails were packed with new arrival coats, for urban wear and for outdoor adventures.