Brrr. The Canadian winter is upon us yet again. Skiing, skating, tobogganing...Sound like fun? Well, just imagine if you couldn't afford a warm coat for your child. No wonder that some parents dread the drop in temperature.
That was exactly the philanthropic seed that grew West 49’s 10th Annual ‘Coats for Kids’ campaign. Since 2002, the drive has put more than 80,000 gently used winter coats on the backs of the kids who need them. After all, as any parent knows snowsuits are expensive, and kids outgrow them so quickly.
That's where you come in. From this week through to November 21st, you can bring in a "clean, insulated gently used winter coat"—not to mention hats, mitts, scarves—to any West 49 store across Canada. (There are 70 locations, so no excuse, really.) Not only will your heart warm knowing you did a damn good thing, you will also receive $25 off any new winter jacket of your choosing.
The donated coats are then distributed to various youth shelters and charities across the country.
In the words of this West 49 employee:
"One story that always comes to mind is a mom with her son who was about 6 or 7 years old. The sons school let them know about our services and they registered and started looking for clothes for the little guy. After a few minutes the little guy put on a warm winter coat....'Awww Mom, this so cool! This jacket is so warm and it is totally cool!' he paused and looked her in the eye......'Do you have enough money Mom? Oh boy!!!!
The mom was speechless and everyone around could hear a pin drop! She said 'That's ok, you can have it, this place is where everyone shares with each other.' This little guy walked out so proud with his new coat on his back. As he left, he said 'Hey mom, I wanna clean my room and find clothes for kids smaller than me!' I wish I had this on video, it was one of the most powerful moments in my career."
I love this idea. Nothing could be easier, because kids have more important things to be worrying about (like making perfect snow angels and snowmen) than how to get warm.