500 winter coats distributed to Chicago families in need

As temperatures continue to drop, some families will struggle to keep warm this season.

That's why the nonprofit "Communities in Schools" teamed up with Macy’s and Soles4Souls to distribute 500 winter coats to local children and their parents.

"All the coats that you see here are brand new coats," said Robin Koelsch, senior director of partnerships with Communities in Schools.

Now, hundreds of people won’t have to wonder how they’ll get a winter coat for themselves and their children.  

"We’re coming in to support and remove that barrier of, ‘what are we going to do?’ We’re here to answer that question and support the young people so that they have what they need to even get to school," said Koelsch.

The giveaway event was held on Wednesday at the Lawndale Christian Health Center. Families who received vouchers were able to stop by to shop for much-needed winter gear, including socks and winter boots.


"On those mornings when it’s going to be -20 degrees, if you don’t have a warm coat, that’s a barrier to getting to school," said Koelsch.

Backpacks and other schools supplies were also available to students.

"It’s awesome. It helps me save a few dollars. Struggling trying to find things. Thanksgiving and Christmastime coming, every bit helps," said Christopher Harris, parent.

The event is warming hearts ahead of the holidays and giving families one less thing to worry about.

"Grateful," said Kenyatta Morens.

"It’s very important for the children have coats so I’m really grateful that they’re doing this for everybody, especially for my children as well and my little cousins," said Kristen Humphrey.

Communities in Schools is the city's largest education nonprofit and provides support to over 70,000 Chicago Public Schools students.

This year, Macy’s donated 10,000 brand-new coats nationwide to Soles4Souls. The two groups have been partnering since 2013 to ensure that families have a warm jacket during the winter months.