Coat-A-Kid drive to benefit thousands of students at Oklahoma City public schools

September 25, 2017

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You wouldn't believe it by spending time outside, but it really is going to cool off soon. When that happens, community support will guarantee that thousands of Oklahoma City Public School students have a coat to keep them warm this winter.

Nearly $80,000 of the $140,000 goal for the 2017 Coat-A-Kid drive has been raised so far. The OKCPS community relations team is already working with school personnel to determine exact needs and sizes. The first coat orders will be placed within a few weeks.

The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools is collaborating with the OKCPS Community Relations team again this year to be sure that no student is without a warm coat this winter. Thousands of students have this need each year, which is unfathomable for most of us. School personnel share many stories about times when students wore only sweatshirts or hoodies on extremely cold days, but Coat-A-Kid makes that a problem of the past.

Last year's successful Coat-A-Kid effort allowed for the purchase of 7,000 coats for Oklahoma City Public Schools students. Bluesource, a vendor housed in Guthrie, provides the coats at a low cost and provides many color and size options.

Anyone who thinks that providing these coats is embarrassing for the students hasn't seen the joy in their faces when the coat is delivered. Last year there were hundreds of kids in coats at Shidler Elementary School on delivery day, when it was nearly 90 degrees outside. Their teachers had to encourage them to take the coats off because it was so warm. There were smiles from ear to ear. Embarrassed kids don't do that!

We really are moving in the right direction to fill needs for our schools. All of our students now receive free breakfast and lunch each school day, thanks to a federal grant received by Oklahoma City Public Schools. Community partners continue to rally to assist teachers and classrooms through DonorsChoose.org and schools are connecting with partners for time, talent and treasure through Partners in Action. These are all initiatives providing the mechanism for community members to help, because we know that our schools can't do it alone.

Food and clothing are the most basic of needs and no child should have to worry about these things.

With your continued help, our kids won't wait at the bus stop or walk to school without a coat this winter. This not only keeps them safe and healthy, it also ensures that they arrive at school ready to learn.

To assist with Coat-A-Kid or any of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools efforts, go to okckids.com.