Coat drive ongoing: Coats for Kids continues founder’s legacy
The Shawnee News-Star is partnering with the Sharon Baptist Church (SBC) ministry Coats for Kids this winter to help provide free coats to anyone in need.
According to SBC member Suzi Blair, residents in the Shawnee and Tecumseh areas can donate new or gently used coats at the Shawnee News-Star office at 215 N. Bell from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Monday, Dec. 21.
Blair said Coats for Kids was originally started by Norma McKiddy to provide winter coats to children who didn't have any.
The late McKiddy, in a video on the SBC Facebook page, said she began the program in 1995.
"One night, in the middle of the night, God woke me up and he said 'Coats for Kids,"' McKiddy said. "I knew exactly what my assignment was."
In the video, the founder said Coats for Kids only has one rule.
"The person, it can be man, woman or child that needs the coat has to be present in order to receive one," McKiddy said.
Blair said over the last 25 years Coats for Kids has served various children and adults.
"Coats for Kids has helped thousands through the years," Blair said.
Blair said the ministry is operated out of a building located in the south parking lot of the church at 19002 South Gordon Cooper Drive. The building is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through February but will be closed Dec. 26.
Every year Coats for Kids begins collecting coats in mid-October and closes in February. Anyone is welcome to volunteer.
Blair said people can help Coats for Kids by donating gently used or new coats to SBC, Finley Cleaners in Shawnee and at the News-Star office.
"(I hope) to continue to serve the community to the glory of God and to uphold Norma McKiddy's legacy that no child would have to go without a coat simply because they cannot afford one," Blair said.
To donate funds to the ministry, a Coats for Kids fund is set up at First United Bank.