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WATERLOO — The organizer of an annual coat drive is calling on the community to help get disadvantaged children ready for winter.

Julie Ehlers is seeking donations to buy winter outerwear through the Koats 4 Kids project. This is the sixth year coats and other items have been distributed in Black Hawk County schools.

“We will be working again with family support workers, counselors and principals who will identify the children with the most needs,” said Ehlers. Children from low income families at 29 schools in Cedar Falls, Dunkerton, Elk Run Heights, Evansdale, Hudson, La Porte City and Waterloo are eligible to participate. “Our goal is to provide winter items needed so children can be warm and dry while playing in the snow at recess, walking to school or waiting for their school bus each morning.”

Every $25 donation will buy a coat, hat, gloves and scarf. Ehlers hopes to begin distributing the winter outerwear at participating schools during the first week of December. She will continue accepting contributions after the distribution begins.

“Last year, our generous community members donated $28,357 so we could share 877 coats, 663 pairs of boots and 565 snow pants with our local children,” said Ehlers. “Our community showed their support by giving monetary donations, making colorful fleece scarves, having coat drives and volunteering hundreds of hours so our children were warm during Iowa’s cold winter months.

“Our first priority is to provide winter items for elementary-age kids and once their needs have been met we will hopefully be able to help the middle and high school students,” she noted. “Our hope is to provide 800 coats, hats, gloves, scarves and 600 pairs of boots and snow pants to our disadvantaged kids this year. We are grateful to live in such a generous community and we are confident our community members will help us reach our goal again this year because they know what a huge impact they have on our children’s lives.”

Monetary donations can be mailed to the Waterloo Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1253, Waterloo, IA 50704 or donations can be made online at the foundation’s website,

For more information contact Ehlers by email at, by phone at 240-2254 or online at


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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