The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 14, 2012

Coats for Kids under way

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — An annual coat drive to warm needy children is under way for the seventh year.

The Coats for Kids program, a community outreach of Coldwell Banker Realty III, in cooperation with Oxford Cleaners, is ready to accept new and gently used children’s coats.

Sue Gungoll, who coordinates the program for Coldwell Banker, said gently used coats are cleaned by Oxford Cleaners before they are given to a school counselor for a child.

“The program was originally conceived to provide new or gently used coats to every child in need,” said Jeff Shaffer, Realtor at Coldwell Banker.

“Anybody who has a new or slightly used coat, just bring them down and we’ll see that Coldwell Banker gets them, and see that anyone who needs one gets one,” said Karen Whitley, owner of Oxford Cleaners.

“If people don’t have coats, we accept donations,” Gungoll said.

The coats are given to school counselors in Enid, Chisholm, Hennessey, Waukomis and Pioneer-Pleasant Vale schools. The counselors then distribute them to children who need them.

Although the program is set up to provide coats to needy kids, coats for adults will be accepted.

Adult coats will be cleaned and passed along to Forgotten Ministries for distribution, Shaffer said. Coats in excess of the number needed by the kids — if that happens — could go to Forgotten Ministries as well.

Gungoll said last year the program took in more than 350 kids’ coats.

The community is highly supportive of the program, she said. Among the donations last year was $1,500 worth of coats from Walmart and Kmart.

Central Christian Church, Rib Crib and Vance Air Force Base are major supporters of the program. All collect coats on behalf of it.

Likewise, every Realtor at Coldwell Banker does their part, Gungoll said.

Shaffer said coats should be given by Dec. 15 because Coldwell Banker also is a drop-off location for Toys For Tots.