‘Desperately low’: How you can help the Koats for Kids campaign

As the temperature continues to drop in Winnipeg, the United Way says it needs more winter clothes to help people in need this winter.

The Koats for Kids campaign has been underway since September, but Melissa Burgess, senior manager of engagement initiatives with the United Way, says donations have been slower than in previous years.

“Right now, we’ve come to a point where we’ve depleted our inventory that we had started out at the beginning of the season, and we have hundreds of orders that are waiting to be filled and our shelves are bare,” she said.

Burgess said so far this year, 509 orders have been fulfilled, which means thousands of jackets, mitts, ski pants and toques have already been handed out. However, she said there are approximately 400 orders right now waiting to be completed.

“We are desperately low on certain sizes,” she said. “Especially for boys’ coats, sizes eight to 16, shelves are totally bare. Ski pants we desperately need as well, especially for kids sizes seven to 10.

“We’re looking for winter boots and all sizes. So for kids and adults, waterproof mints, and jackets for men. So, these are the top needed items at this point in time. Our goal is to keep the whole family warm.”

New and gently used items can be donated at Toys R Us locations in Winnipeg, Perth’s locations, Access Storage, AMJ Campbell and several Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service stations. A full list of addresses can be found online.

Burgess adds volunteers are also needed, and people can call 204-586-5628 if they’re interested.

The campaign runs until January 26.

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