Free coats at ForKids Wednesday

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2019

ForKids is distributing coats to families in need on Tuesday and Wednesday this week at the non-profit’s downtown Suffolk Regional Services Center.

This is a partnership between ForKids and WAVY News 10 “Coats for Families,” which according to a press release has donation sites across the region. Oak Grove Baptist Church in Suffolk is also a distribution partner this year and held their distribution event on Dec. 6, the press release states.

“Albano Cleaners ensures that every gently used coat that is donated is cleaned,” the press release states. “After cleaning, the coats are delivered by Harrison’s Moving & Storage and the Hiram Lodge to distribution partners such as ForKids in Suffolk.”


Email newsletter signup

The Suffolk Regional Services Center on West Constance Road received 125 coats for men, women and children. These coats are being distributed free of charge to anyone that needs them, during scheduled hours Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We’re able to be a distribution site for coats that have been donated throughout the community, to make sure that Suffolk citizens are able to have coats during what may be a long winter,” ForKids Chief Services Officer Sarah Johnson said Tuesday morning, “and we are especially concerned about the folks that are homeless or on the streets that are very vulnerable in this type of weather.

“We’re excited to be able to utilize our new building,” Johnson continued. “It’s a really accessible site for people to come and get their coats.”

Families came to the ForKids Suffolk Center on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They chose from a wide range of different colors, styles and sizes to meet the needs of their whole families.

“It’s very, very helpful,” said Suffolk resident Tiffany Bradshaw, who was at the ForKids center on Tuesday to find coats for her children, five girls and one boy.

“I was actually looking for coats for them now, and look at this,” she said as she looked at the racks of free winter coats. “It’s a blessing.”

ForKids touched the lives of more than 70,000 people in Southeastern Virginia last year through the Housing Crisis Hotline and other extended services, according to an email from External Relations Manager Becky Lyle Pinkard.

The organization served 31 percent more families in Western Tidewater last year, and currently serves an average of 290 families each day across Southeastern Virginia.

The Suffolk center opened on West Constance Road in November 2018 and now provides after-school tutoring five days a week. The Suffolk Education Team has provided after-school tutoring for approximately 85 children this academic year at the Suffolk Center BTB and Boys and Girls Club at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

With help from community partners, ForKids provides dinner to tutoring students five days a week, as well.

The center will continue to distribute winter clothes on Wednesday, thanks to the ForKids partnership with Coats for Families.

“ForKids is thrilled to open the doors of our Suffolk Center to the residents of Suffolk and surrounding areas so they can participate in Coats for Families this year,” ForKids Chief Executive Officer Thaler McCormick stated in the press release. “Anyone who needs a coat will be able to walk in to ForKids, no paperwork and no questions asked, and select the coats their family needs to stay warm this winter.

“We are grateful to WAVY News 10 for inviting us to participate and bring Coats for Families to Suffolk.”

Coats will be distributed Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at the ForKids Suffolk Regional Services Center, 119 W. Constance Road. For more information, call Becky Lyle Pinkard at 622-6400, extension 102.