Red Deerians didn’t have to leave the warmth of their vehicle to donate money or winter clothing.
Drivers just had to pull over to the side of the road on Taylor Drive, between 32nd Street and 43rd Street, to make a donation during the fifth annual Coats for Kids and Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre Charity Checkstop on Saturday.
The event raised money for the crime prevention centre and collected winter wear for Coats for Kids.
“All of the coats and winter items we get today, for kids and adults, will be sent to our sponsoring dry cleaners. They will clean them and then we get them to Victory Church for their clothing area, and families in need can come pick up winter items for their family,” said Janise Somer, crime prevention centre program development co-ordinator.
“Kids grow quickly and pretty much need a new coat every year. Some families find that to be a financial burden, so we want to be giving to those in our community who have less than others.”
This event is a major fundraiser for the centre, she said.
“It’s super important we have the funding to do some of the programming that we do,” said Somer.
Last year’s Charity Checkstop raised more than $10,000 and brought in more than 200 winter items for Coats for Kids.
The centre has been working with Red Deer’s community associations this year to help prevent crime, Somer said.
“Many associations are re-activating because of the issues of crime. They’re starting to share information, and the No. 1 crime prevention tool is knowing your neighbour,” she said.
“They call us and we come do a crime prevention presentation and help them learn how they can better protect themselves from crime.”
Red Deer Coun. Buck Buchanan, who was accepting donations Saturday morning, said he was happy to help out.
“All agencies are chasing the fundraising dollar, and Coats for Kids is a great cause. People are pretty receptive to it – so far, so good this morning,” said Buchanan.