Employees at Anton’s Cleaners shops spend time on Wednesdays and Thursdays cleaning donated coats so they can be distributed to children in need.
This is the 16th year in a row that Anton’s, a dry cleaning business with 43 locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, has ran a program called Coats for Kids. Last year, Anton’s cleaned about 60,000 donated coats.
The coats get to the recipients through the Coats for Kids Distribution Partners network, which includes organizations like the Salvation Army and Brockton-based Catholic Charities South.
Kids in the day care program at the Agape Child Care and Family Life Center in Brockton are given coats by Catholic Charities South if they look unprepared for winter weather.
“You can’t play in the snow if you don’t have a coat,” said Nicki Meade Draves, development coordinator for Catholic Charities South.
The Salvation Army handed out more than 6,000 coats it received from Anton’s at a recent Christmas charity event in Boston.
The coats were organized by age and gender, and people could walk in and get coats for the whole family, said Kimberly Santos, special events coordinator for the Salvation Army.
The goal is to reach a total of 60,000 donated coats by Jan. 8, said Arthur Anton Jr., chief operating officer of Anton’s Cleaners.
The need for warm clothes is very real, as was made evident by the Sunday-Monday blizzard, Anton said.
“All you have to do is look at kids waiting at bus stops” – many are not wearing clothing warm enough for the weather, he said.
Coat donations will be accepted at all 43 Anton’s Cleaner’s shops and all Jordan’s Furniture locations through Jan. 8.