Coats For Kids Raises Over 800 Coats with the Flying Squirrels

December 6, 2012

Online Story by DeeVa Payne
Video Story by Kathlynn Stone
VCU InSight

RICHMOND, Va. — Puritan cleaners and the Richmond Flying Squirrels teamed up for a day of food, games, and most importantly, coats at the 4th annual Coats For Kids Ballpark Warming Party this past November.

Squirrels fans raised over 800 coats in just 3 hours.

While this was only the 4th Ballpark Warming Party, Puritan cleaners have been collecting coats since 1988 and since then have donated over 900,000 coats to the Salvation Army.

Norman Way, the Director of Operations for Puritan Cleaners, says Coats For Kids really helps local families in need.

“We have been able to see the folks come through the coats center with tears in their eyes because they can’t afford to buy their families coats and their kids are going to have one now to keep them warm,” he said.

All zippers and buttons are repaired and after a good cleaning all coats are put on hangers and sent to the Salvation Army.

Kelly Ann Petroski is a member of the Squirrel’s Club and brought her children to the event after receiving an email.

“Well it helps us clean out our closets and it’s nice to know when our kids grow out of it other kids can use it,” she said.

Puritan Cleaners collects coats all throughout the month of November in order to get the coats on hangers in the Salvation Army by December.

Parney Parnell, the Chief Operating Officer for the Flying Squirrels, says the focal point of the Ballpark Warming Party is to bring different parts of the community together.

“Whether you are the local minor league baseball team, a local business, whoever you are; we can bond together and make an impact,” he said.

Puritan Cleaners collected coats at all locations until November 30th. Even though the collection period has ended, the Salvation Army accepts donations all year around.