A small crowd gathered early on a Saturday morning at Flint’s Burlington Coat Factory for an exclusive shopping party: six students from the Flint Community Schools were there to spend $21,000 on winter jackets as part of Kids Involved in Coats for Kids (KICK). This program incorporates Flint children into the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids efforts. “We found that when grown-ups pick the coats, the kids won’t wear them,” said Connie Peters, Development Director at the Salvation Army, “so we thought, Why not have kids pick them out?” And that’s just what they’ve done for the past four years. Winners of the KICK poster contest were invited to the shopping spree on November 16, and as a special bonus, they were allowed to choose a coat for themselves as well.
Bill Adams of Big John’s Steak & Onion and Penny Drolet of Venus Family Restaurant host an annual golf outing to raise money for the program, and this year they were able to present a check worth $19,000 for the endeavor. That amount combined with the $2,000 raised by the schools means that over 2,000 children in Genesee County will receive a winter coat this year. Major Jon Augenstein says, “It’s overwhelming to think that we can provide so many coats to children in our community, but we know that even with this amount, we’re not keeping every child in our county warm. That’s what pushes us to try to raise the bar with this program every year.”
PHOTOS BY TRACI TURNER
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