More than 120 children at four Child Care of Southwest Florida early learning centers received new zip-up hoodies to stay warm this year, thanks to a donation from Knights of Columbus Council 2596 at St. Francis Xavier, a Catholic fraternal service organization in Fort Myers.
The donation is part of the Knights’ national program, Coats for Kids, that ensures children in need are provided with a vital necessity during the colder months. Each year, Council 2596 partners with a local organization to provide warmth for the community’s youngest members. Including this year’s donation, the council estimates it has provided more than 1,000 donated coats to local children over the past decade.
Just in time for colder weather, boxes of new zip-up hoodies were delivered to four early learning centers managed by Child Care of Southwest Florida: the Community Children’s Center, P.A. Geraci Child Development Center, Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center and Children’s Garden of LaBelle. Directors at each center determined which children were most in need, and Council 2596 members visited early learning centers on Jan. 19 to distribute the jackets to boys and girls from 6 months to 5 years old.
“We are immensely grateful to the Knights of Columbus at St. Francis Xavier for their kind-hearted donation,” said Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida. “Their Coats for Kids program not only brings warmth to our children, but also hope and support to our families during challenging times.”
Since the Knights’ national program was launched in 2009, Coats for Kids has provided warm winter coats to more than a million children across the U.S. and Canada.