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More coats needed for children

Rotary hoping to reach 2,000 coats to help keep kids in Burnaby warm

Parents may fret over their kids leaving the house on cold mornings not wearing a proper coat.

But a growing number of Burnaby kids don't even have the choice.

The Rotary Club of Burnaby Metrotown has its annual Rotary Coats for Kids drive running at full steam, and the first 577 coats have been given to children of all ages in need.

"It's not just young kids that we find coming out. We get mothers with babies coming in, so we need baby coats right through to youth at the end of high school," said Gloria Tom Wing Staudt, the club's public image director and spokesperson of the campaign. "How much is the need? It has been growing. Last year we gave out 1,700. Way back when, it was just 40."

The goal for this year is 2,000, Tom Wing Staudt said. The club collects coats and delivers them in a large panel van via schools and community organizations.

New or gently used coats, prefer-ably waterproof and with hoods, can be dropped off at a number of Burnaby locations, including Staples stores, any branch of the Burnaby Public Library, South Burnaby Neighbourhood House, and the UPS Store on Edmonds Street.

With a donation of $12 in cash or cheque made out to SBNH: Rotary Coats for Kids, the club can buy a new coat. Cheques can be mailed to Box 307, 1410-6200 McKay Ave, Burnaby B.C., V5H 4M9.

Tom Wing Staudt suggested that local business may want to run their own collection campaigns in house and then have the coats distributed by the Rotary club.

staff reporter