SPOKANE, Wash. - Last year, you helped us celebrate 30 years of keeping kids warm in the Inland Northwest. The Coats 4 Kids mission isn't over; now it's crunch time for this season's campaign.
All morning long we had people bringing down new and gently used coats and cash donations in our attempt to "Stuff the Bus."
"We are down here at the convention center and the goal today is to fill this bus up with as many coats as we can for the kids in the community to keep them warm this winter," said Beth Bousley with Spokane Transit Authority.
Bousley is excited to be part of our massive effort for the second year. She and other STA staff helped during last years coat distribution, so they know what this means to the community.
"[It's] the most wonderful experience to see their faces light up when they find that perfect coat," said Bousley. "The special color that's just what they want, and to see them have that pride as well as keeping them warm, it's very fulfilling."
So many community partners make Coats 4 Kids a success. Our friends at Albertsons-Safeway stores are collecting donations to make sure kids have what they need.
"It started out kind of slow, and as the weather started to cool down, all of a sudden, people started to recognize, hey, it's getting cold out there," said Albertsons store director Mike Keller.
Momentum grew very quickly.
"And every morning we have to empty our drums, if you will, and put fresh, empty bags out there. So it's been wonderful," said Keller.
They even hooked donators up with Seahawks "D-Fence" gloves. That was enough to bring 12s like Dennis Bjerke down to the INB Performing Arts Center, even in the rain.
"This year, I wanted to bring more, so I donated a coat and some cash. So please come down and donate to Coats 4 Kids," said Bjerke.
Dennis is right: it doesn't take much to make a big dent in the even bigger need our community faces. Do your part and donate.
You can help "Stuff the Bus" until 8 p.m. on Thursday in front of the INB Performing Arts Center.