The Nova Scotia Knights of Columbus handed out 444 coats for kids across the province this winter through their Coats for Kids program. Just in time for the chilly weather, the coats provide protection from the elements for kids in need.
Sean Kelly, state program director for the Knights of Columbus council in Lower Sackville, says they have been taking part in this international program for more than six years and will continue to do so each year there is a need. This year’s total of 444 coats equalled $11,535 in fundraising money from the councils. “The Knights of Columbus councils raise the money through various means, selling tickets, putting on breakfasts, however they can figure out a way to make some money,” says Kelly. “This program has been going for six or seven years. They have given 600,000 or 700,000 coats across North America.”
In HRM, 252 coats were given out this season, in sizes ranging from a small child’s coat to larger sizes for 12-year-old kids. The coats are donated to individuals through community partners including local food banks, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, elementary schools, the Salvation Army and Community Services. “The biggest one this year was in Enfield. They brought in 144 coats; they distributed them out through Enfield, Indian Brook and Stewiacke — so they split them up through the three local food banks,” says Kelly.
Kelly, who has been a member of the Knights of Columbus in HRM since the early 1980s, says they raise tens of thousands of dollars every year for a variety of charities and community programs, including bursaries, funding for food banks and children’s lunch programs