Coats for Kids gives warm winter for thousands in need

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The 30th Annual Coats for Kids campaign distributed an estimated 2,200 coats to the public on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the the Porter’s Cleaners on Benton Road in Bossier City. Pictured left to right: JaLeiqha Cummings, Bob Gray, Heavan Cummings, Lee A Jeter Sr, Gordon Blackmon, Becky Huff, Mark Porter, Elizabeth Sias, Joe Sias, Betty Day, Rebecca Crow, Sheryl Brown, and M’kyla Jett. (Photo courtesy of Jorge Hilario)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

A coat drive held last month has yielded a warm winter for hundreds of kids in need.

The 30th Annual Coats for Kids campaign kicked off the month of December and ended Friday, Jan. 4. Coats were donated throughout the month at all Porter’s Cleaners locations across Bossier and Shreveport.

On December 19 and 20, Caddo and Bossier Parish teachers received an estimated 600-800 coats alone.

An estimated 2,200 coats were distributed to the general public on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the the Porter’s Cleaners on Benton Road in Bossier City and Goodwill Industries Store on E. 70th Street in Shreveport.

“Goodwill is blessed to have had a long-standing partner like Porter’s. We have been collaborating for over 30 years and are as committed to our partnership now as we have been in the past. Goodwill understands the value of Coats for Kids to our community and is grateful that Porter’s continues to lead this important event each year,” said David Tinkis, president CEO for Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana.

The program celebrated a milestone birthday as Mark Porter began collecting the outerwear items to hand out to people in need since 1988.

“This drive shows how generous the community is to donate coats to people in need. When you have helped a child keep warm during the cold winter season, it feels good. And when you see a smile on their faces, you know you have done the right thing,” said Mark Porter, owner of Porter’s Fine Dry Cleaning.

Since its conception, the program has handed out over 100,000 coats to local residents of northwest Louisiana.

Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit agency that serves people with disabilities and workplace disadvantages by providing job training and employment services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support.