How you can keep Manitoba children warm as the weather turns cold
WINNIPEG -- While autumn has just arrived, winter is only a few months away, and with it, comes colder temperatures.
For over 30 years, the United Way has been running its Koats for Kids campaign, providing gently-used coats, mittens, toques, and boots to kids.
“Every year we collect and distribute over 6,000 coats, plus thousands of others mitts, toques, ski pants, boots, you name it," said Jodene Baker, director of the United Way in Winnipeg. "Anything to keep those kids warm.”
Baker said the organization is expecting a greater need this year, due to increased financial pressures on families as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She added students will also likely be spending additional time outside this year with their physical education classes.
Baker said for some children in Winnipeg, having a warm coat can determine if they will be able to go to school that day.
“When we have those temperatures dipping down into minus 35 degrees, and this year in particular, when they’re being asked to go outside for phys-ed, or spend as much time outside to stop that spread of COVID, we don’t want children to have to make the decision of whether or not to go school based on their availability of warm winter wear,” she said.
Winnipeggers can donate new or gently-used winter wear, and the United Way said they will work with schools, daycares, and United Way agencies to get the clothes into the hands of those who need it.
Baker said contactless drop-off locations are available throughout the city, including at AMJ Campbell Winnipeg on Niakwa Road and Access Storage locations around the city. She said several Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service stations will also be used as a drop-off location, and a full list will be placed on the United Way's website later this week.
Winnipeggers can also reach out to volunteer with Koats for kids, and Baker said precautions are being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The organization is looking primarily for children's clothing, but smaller adult clothing is welcome as well.
“Anything that you have that you think will keep a little one warm this winter, we will be happy to take it,” said Baker.
-With files from CTV's Rachel Lagacé