In its 17th year of helping provide clean warm coats to those in need, Ventura Rotary’s “Coats For Kids” project is seeking donations of used coats, jackets and heavy sweatshirts of all sizes. Donations can be made at more than 25 area business and office locations, including Trader Joes and Green Thumb Nursery. For an interactive map, including nearest locations and directions visit VenturaRotary.org.
“It’s a great way to help out those in need, while also cleaning out your closets of coats that you or your children no longer use,” says project director, Kristin Taylor. “Simply drop them in the large, marked box at any collection site. We pick them up and have them expertly cleaned.”
“Not everyone can write a big check to charity, but many can find a coat or two in the back of the closet and then feel good about making a very real and practical difference to someone in their community,” says Kristin Taylor. “We’ve collected, cleaned and distributed over 65,000 coats, jackets or sweatshirts over the past 16 years. With the weather turning cold and the number in need growing, we challenge the community to fill those donation boxes and help us collect 4000-4500 more this year. Due to the pandemic the need for coats is greater than ever before. At the same time, many of our valued collection sites, including 15 schools in Ventura, are not accessible. Your support is greatly appreciated!”
After cleaning, the coats are provided immediately and throughout the year to various local organizations to ensure that everyone truly in need can have access to a warm coat. These organizations include the Ventura Boys & Girls Club, Project Understanding, Casa Pacifica, Rescue Mission, The Salvation Army, The Hope Project and local churches.
“We’ll be collecting right up until the New Year,” says Club president, Saurabh Bajaj, “but the distribution and positive impact on those less fortunate will continue on all year long. It’s a lot of work, but the payoff is in knowing that we’re making a difference in the lives of others throughout Ventura County, one coat at a time.
Ventura Rotary gives thanks to the many merchants and offices that serve as drop off sites. From restaurants and banks, to dentist offices and gyms, these drop off sites assure that making a donation of a coat is easy! “We’re also very happy to have the help of our friends at the Rotary Club of Ventura South who are managing 11 of the drop off sites for the program this year,” says Taylor. “This is truly a project by our community, for our community!”
Vital to the success of the project is the support of its generous business partners, including: Hilford Moving & Storage, Gold Coast Broadcasting and KVTA, FASTSIGNS of Ventura, Olas Express Laundromat, Halter-Encinas Enterprises, Team Dembowski Realty and MJP Technologies.