Kids try on winter coats from the Knights of Columbus’ Coats for Kids program in the presence of Fr. Miguel Segura Blay, pastor of Toronto’s Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. Photo courtesy of the Knights of Columbus.

Passing on the gift of warmth

By 
  • December 20, 2013

TORONTO - This winter, more than 2,700 Ontario kids in need will have a new coat to shelter them from the biting cold of winter thanks to the Knights of Columbus.

Through the Knights annual Coats for Kids program, which is run in Canada and the United States, more than 150,000 coats have been given to needy kids since the program originated in 2009.

Coats for Kids is an annual program where local councils of the Knights purchase winter coats for needy children. Councils across the country participate.

“The Knights of Columbus has a manufacturer that has given us an excellent price in order to be able to run this program,” said Francisco Naar, State Community Director for the Knights in Ontario.

Naar adds that the coats they provide would probably cost between $40 and $50 at market price, but the Knights purchase them at a high volume for a lower price. Councils send their orders to headquarters in the United States.

Naar attributes the lingering effects of the economic downturn in North America for making it difficult for many parents to purchase adequate winter coats.

As of Dec. 10, 11 days before the official start of winter, the councils in Ontario had ordered 228 cases of coats, almost split evenly between boys and girls. That’s more than 2,700 coats.

Typically, a council will allow a parish priest or principal at a school to identify families who are in need of winter coats for their children, and then the council purchases a minimum of one case of 12 coats at a cost of $245 per case.

According to the Knights of Columbus web site, the coats come in various sizes, styles and colours for girls age four to 16 and boys age four to 18. To find out how to donate to Coats for Kids, e-mail francisconaar@gmail.com.

To find a local Knights of Columbus council, visit www.kofc.org.

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