It was a record-breaking day at Lucas Oil Stadium, but the biggest numbers weren’t on the playing field – they were outside the stadium at the annual Colts Coat Collection to support Coats for Kids. As thousands of fans streamed into the sold-out Colts v. Ravens game, they brought with them bags of new and gently used coats to help The Salvation Army and its partners, WTHR and Tuchman Cleaners, ensure that every child in Indianapolis who needs a winter coat will have one this year.

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WTHR’s Jennie Runevitch collects a coat (and hat!) from a fan

This is the 28th year for Coats for Kids and we are expecting an even bigger crowd than in years past. After the frigid temperatures we endured last winter, parents are more concerned than ever when it comes to having warm, well-fitting winter gear for their children. On October 18 we are expecting upwards of 4,000 children, accompanied by their parents or guardians, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the Coats for Kids distribution.

Thanks to generous Colts fans and drop-offs at Tuchman Cleaners locations over the past five weeks, we already have over 3,100 coats ready for distribution day. Colts fans who arrived at Sunday’s game without a coat to donate were still able to help by offering cash donations totaling $8,855.89. These donations help us purchase coats in the most needed sizes to ensure that we can send as many children home with a warm coat as possible.

Former WTHR meteorologist Bob Gregory joined current on-air staff, including Angela Buchman, Dave Calabro, Nichole Misencik, Sean Ash and Anne Marie Tiernon, in the coat collection. Along with volunteers from The Salvation Army, Tuchman Cleaners and Two Men and a Truck, the WTHR crew greeted fans and thanked them for the outpouring of generosity.

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Young Colts fans give coats to Dave Calabro of WTHR

“I’m a season ticker holder, and I always bring a bag of coats to this game!” said Ruth, a Colts fan who arrived with her two grandsons and a shopping bag overflowing with coats. One of Ruth’s grandsons handed the heavy bag over to WTHR news anchor Bruce Kopp while she explained. “I collect them from all my grandkids in the spring and then bring them with me in the fall. They know they’re helping other kids, and that always feels good.”

Majors Bob and Collette Webster, new leaders of The Salvation Army Indiana Division, got to witness first-hand the generosity of spirit that makes our community such a wonderful place to live, work and worship. It was truly a day of blessings that will make a great impact on October 18.  Thank you to everyone who opened their hearts and made this a record-breaking year!

 

Still interested in making a donation to Coats for Kids? Drop off coats at any central Indiana Tuchman Cleaners by October 13 or simply visit our secure online Coat Shop to purchase coats to fill the racks on October 18. Thank you!