Annual Coats for Kids drive underway

Schools invited to compete for a school dance experience

The annual Coats for Kids drive, sponsored by Pilgrim Cleaners, is underway in the metro area.

Now in its 32nd year, Coats for Kids aims to collect 10,000 coats to share with Minnesota’s youth who are in need of help to stay warm this winter. Last year, 9,800 coats were collected, cleaned and distributed to the participating charities. This year’s drive runs until Oct. 14.

Event organizers at Pilgrim Cleaners are inviting schools, businesses, churches and organizations to help collect new and gently used coats.

As an incentive, Go MN Radio 96.3 FM is going to give away a one-of-a-kind school dance experience. The dance will be hosted by a Go 95.2 radio personality and awarded to the local high school that donates the most coats.

Last year, Blaine High School was honored for collecting 600 coats for Coats for Kids. THis year, other schools are urged to offer Blaine some competition. Armstrong High School in Plymouth has been challenged to beat Blaine’s 2016 numbers.

Any school or local organization can get more information on participating at pilgrimdrycleaners.com, by calling 763-425-7524, or by email at [email protected]

The public can donate coats of all sizes at any one of the 25 Pilgrim Cleaners locations throughout the Twin Cities.

After the collection drive, the coats will be cleaned and distributed to area schools and to seven metro charities.

Anyone unable to donate new or used coats may participate by sending a check to the “Coats for Kids” fund c/o Pilgrim Dry Cleaners, 3217 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park 55443. One hundred percent of the donations will go toward the purchase of new children’s coats.

Donations can also be made online by visiting pilgrimdrycleaners.com.

Pilgrim Cleaners has been collecting coats since 1986. Over the years, they have collected and cleaned over 398,400 coats for those in need.

Drive sponsors include Sun Newspapers, WCCO Radio and KARE-11 TV. Pilgrim locations include include Apple Valley, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, Elk River, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, St. Louis Park, Bloomington, Eagan, Edina, Golden Valley and Long Lake.