At City Mission, we believe that all children in Boston deserve to be warm and safe this winter. COAT BOSTON has spent the last 8 years, with help from a generous grant from Citizens Bank Foundation, ensuring that children from toddlers to teens have the warm winter coats they need. City Mission partners with Boston Public schools serving low-income families to ensure that all young Bostonians have a warm, safe winter.
From September 22 to December 17, City Mission is setting out to collect 3,000 warm winter coats to distribute to inner city children at Boston Public Schools.
First launched in 2009, COAT BOSTON began as the vision of executive director, Rev. June Cooper, that children — especially those in urban neighborhoods served by City Mission — should have proper warm clothing, particularly, winter coats. Knowing how much young children grow from year to year and how prohibitively expensive children’s clothing has become, COAT BOSTON began when Rev. Cooper shared her vision with a foundation officer at Citizens Bank in 2009.
In Boston, one in every four days from December through February is below freezing. Imagine walking or taking the bus to school in such weather without a proper winter coat. it can be dangerous and it’s difficult for children to be fully engaged and open to learning when arriving at school tired, cold and wet.
Since 2009, more than 12,000 elementary school children in Boston have received new coats through City Mission’s partnership with Citizens Bank Foundation. The provision of brand new warm winter coats means children arrive in school, warm, dry and ready to learn. And, for families struggling with the high cost of living in Boston’s urban neighborhoods, a brand new coat for their children frees up tightly stretched family income for other basics like rent, heat, and food.
Sadly, missed school days can have deep and lasting consequences for young children that can follow them into adulthood. The US Department of Education (DOE) reports that chronic absenteeism too often prevents young children from reaching early learning milestones. According to the DOE, “Children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the third grade. Students who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.”
And dropping out of high school is a predictor of negative outcomes in adulthood and has been linked to everything from poverty and diminished health to involvement in the criminal justice system.
COAT BOSTON seeks to root out one of the causes of chronic absenteeism in order to improve the health and wellbeing of our children and our communities.
Why New Coats?
A new warm coat says, “Boston cares about you.” A new warm coat says “you are worthy of something that is yours.” A new warm coat says “you are important to your community.”
How You Can Help
COAT BOSTON gets the thousands of needed coats through a variety of channels:
- With the generous support of Citizens Bank Foundation, we’re able to buy new coats
- Faith communities and other local organizations organize coat parties and other fundraising drives to collect coats and additional funds for direct purchases for City Mission
- Individuals can organize a coat party and visit our Amazon Wishlist
- Consider a holiday themed COAT BOSTON party, ask people to donate coats in place of gifts for your birthday
- Use social media to invite your networks to join you in supporting COAT BOSTON
- Redeem credit card rewards points for American Express, Visa or MasterCard gift cards and send them directly to City Mission
- Use the discount coupons you receive from Macys, Kohls, Target, and other local retailers to purchase a child’s coat and bring it to City Mission
How Do I Host a Coat Party?
We have created a guide that will walk you through the steps of planning and hosting a successful coat party. It has a checklist, planning materials, posters and other publicity materials and ideas!
Invite them to bring a new coat, gift cards, or make a cash donation. Party with a purpose! Be creative and add a theme to your party. Consider a holiday themed COAT BOSTON party, ask people to donate coats in place of gifts for your birthday party, or host a trivia night with people bringing coats.
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