KENMORE, NY—The 23 rd annual Colvin Cleaners Coats 4 Kids Program, sponsored by The Allstate Foundation and Fidelis Care and supported by WIVB News 4 Buffalo, distributed a record 15,200 winter coats, along with thousands of hats, gloves and scarves for local children and families in need, according to Paul A. Billoni, President and CEO of Colvin Cleaners, Inc., a nearly 90 years young family business. Since the program’s inception, Colvin Cleaners has distributed more than 110,000 coats. Last year, 13,350 coats were distributed and in 2016, they gave away 5,350 coats.
“We are so appreciative of the generosity of Western New Yorkers who donated so many gently used or new coats, gloves, hats and scarves this year and to our media partners for helping to get the word out. We saw a much greater need for coats this year and it was gratifying to have enough for them,” Billoni said. To help obtain coats for the program, WIVB sponsored a Live Drive during its morning and afternoon newscasts and WYRK promoted a Reeds Jenss Drive & Drop at two of its locations.
Three free distributions were held over the past two months at the Kenmore Knights of Columbus, True Bethel Baptist Church and the Lake Erie Italian Club in Lackawanna. In addition, Colvin Cleaners was able to donate coats to these local organizations: Bethesda Full Gospel Tabernacle, EPIC (Every Person Influences Children), F.A.T.H.E.R.S. (Fathers Armed Together to Help, Educate, Restore and Save), Friends of the Night People, Gerard Place, International Institute of Buffalo, Kenmore Mercy Hospital’s Catherine’s Closet, Ken-Ton Closet, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy and Veteran’s One-Stop.
Each year, Colvin Cleaners collects new or gently used winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves for anyone from toddlers to young adults for families in need. The items are cleaned at no cost to the program and organized by size for distribution by the Colvin Cleaners staff and many volunteers. Donations of coats and gowns for Gowns for Prom are accepted year round and for more information and donation locations, visit www.colvincleaners.com.