News Local

Koats for Kids a community effort

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

(Submitted photo)

(Submitted photo)

With the first official snowfall here and the temperature steadily plummeting, a handful of community groups have been busy ensuring Portage's youth in need stay warm this winter.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage la Prairie, along with Vision of Independence and the Family Resource Centre, have been busy putting the finishing touches on the collection of all things winter outerwear ahead of next month's Koats for Kids dispersal dates.

“It seems that donations are being picked up fairly often during the week so I think its been pretty steady,” says Dawn Froese, Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director and Koats for Kids coordinator.

Vision of Independence has been busy throughout October retrieving the donations from the several drop off destinations around the city where the items are then taken to Manitoba Development Centre to be cleaned. From there, the donations are taken to the Family Resource Centre and sorted before finally being taken to the dispersal site to be placed on hangers.

Donations will continue to be accepted up until Oct. 31 and can be dropped off at Portage Fire Department, Stride Place, Bank of Montreal, Family Resource Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters along with the Portage Plains United Way.

Dispersal dates are set for the first four Thursday's in November – 2, 9, 16 and 23 – from 2:30-5:30 p.m., at Century 21 Fox Reality. Individuals are asked to enter via the back lane as dispersal is set up in the building's basement. All that is required to obtain outwear for a child is a Manitoba Health Card.

Koats for Kids is an initiative that began in 1989 by the Winnipeg United Way and has been in existence in Portage la Prairie for well over a decade and in that time have supplied Portagers with thousands of items including jackets, hats, mitts, scarves and ski pants.

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