Coats for Kids helps families stay warm this winter

Volunteers are working hard to meet the needs of children in our community, like 3-year-old Chase. (Image: WTVC)

Chilly temperatures mean more families in our area need your help to stay warm.

That's why we are partnering with the Forgotten Child Fund to host Coats For Kids.

It's Thursday, December 7th at Hamilton Place Mall from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can drop off coats near the Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant.

Volunteers are working hard to meet the needs of children in our community, like 3-year-old Chase.

His grandma Annette Wilson says Chase needed a coat. They went to the Salvation Army Wednesday where he received a new coat.

"It's coming Christmas, money is short. My husband just got out of the hospital, he's dying of cancer," Wilson said. "Right now we don't have anything for Christmas for the baby."

Chase's family is not alone. Leah Blackburn is the parent engagement coordinator at Head Start in Chattanooga. She estimates at least 25 percent of their 998 students don't have a good coat to stay warm this winter.

"It makes them feel prideful when they can walk around and say 'hey you know I got on a nice new coat' and they can feel warm and safe and cozy," Blackburn said.

She says within the last few weeks a family had an immediate need for a coat. The Forgotten Child Fund met that need.

"I went down to the facility and I was just amazed at the operation down there," Blackburn said. "They are such a tremendous help in our community. In the past they have provided coats for every single one of our kids."

This is why retired Chattanooga Fire Department Battalion Chief Clay Ingle works hard every year to provide coats for kids.

"When the community comes out here and they give a child a coat that wouldn't ordinarily have one, it lets them know the community cares and it might change a child's life," Ingle said.

Children like Chase are staying warm, cozy and healthy thanks to your help.

"He suffers a lot of ear infections, and with the hood and everything it's going to keep him warm and hopefully cut down on the ear infections," Wilson said.

The last day for families to sign up for the Forgotten Child Fund is December 15. You must sign up in person at 1715 E. Main Street.

They are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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