The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 22, 2013

Short of Coats for Kids: Program works to get warm coats to needy students

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — For 10 years, Coldwell Banker has collected coats for needy kids in Enid schools. This year, they are running out of coats just as the weather is predicted to turn cold.

“The counselors have been getting them by the armful. We need coats or donations, anyone who can make one we appreciate it,” said Sue Gungoll, Realtor and coordinator of the program. “It’s going to get cold, so we’re really going to need them.”

Temperatures in Enid are predicted to drop into the low-20s and teens this weekend, and snow and a winter mix of precipitation is forecast beginning Sunday, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service.

Gungoll said the real estate office recently had its highest number of coats, filling several racks in their office. The Coats for Kids program works with Enid school counselors, who know of students who need warm coats. They come to the Realtor and get the coats and give them to those kids, Gungoll said.

“It breaks my heart they have to do that, but they did. We need coats desperately,” she said.

Coldwell Banker prints brochures each year to remind school counselors that the coats are available. Teachers or counselors pick up the coats and take them to the kids at their schools, she said. In 2010, the realty company printed 4,000 brochures for its annual Coats for Kids drive, and this year increased the number to 4,500. The brochures can be found at various places around town.

“We get a lot of donations from the community. Central Christian Church has also gathered for us. They give us new coats, new hats and gloves,” Gungoll said.

Karen Whitley, at Oxford Cleaners, cleans the coats for free, and Gungoll said he has heard from Vance Air Force Base that they will collect coats this year. But for now, the coats nearly are gone.

Gungoll said there is a definite need for coats in the Enid community, and that need seems to increase every year.