'Coats for Kids' warms the heart while providing warm coats for children

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Saturday's cold, rainy weather brought out the crowds of families eager to get a free, warm coat for their child for the winter from the WTHR 'Coats for Kids' campaign.  Thousands of children left with a coat while leaving behind an abundance of gratitude.

Marilyn Burns and her children have a big need.  But, their burden is one the annual WTHR 'Coats for Kids' campaign will lift in just minutes.

"As a mom having four children.  It does a lot.  It saves us money from buying coats so we can spend that on something else," said Marilyn.

You might think finding something for four different children ranging in age from four to 12 might be a task but, the Burns children are easy they're just grateful for the opportunity.  Donye is the oldest and old enough to understand the special gift he's receiving today.

"It was unexpected to get free coats here because you don't get that everyday every place.  It was a great experience here getting free coats," said Donye.

And just like that, four children are wearing new coats at a price that can't be beat!

"Free is a great price," said Marilyn.

If there is any doubt about the need in central Indiana, the long line that wrapped around the Horticulture Agriculture Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds spoke volumes.  People came early three hours before the doors opened waiting, eager to get a warm coat for their child.

That need is why retired weatherman Bob Gregory has been so thrilled to be the face of the campaign for 27 years!

"Many thousands of kids have a nice, warm coat today thanks to the generosity of so many people in central Indiana.  a lot of smiling faces of little people. There's nothing better than that.  It's pretty cool," said Gregory.

"It's pretty awesome," said Donye.

Children left with warm coats, but wore a smile that warmed the heart.

WTHR would like to give a huge thanks to our partners, Tuchman Cleaners, who cleans the donated coats every year and the Salvation Army, who stores and organizes the coats for distribution.  Finally, thanks to the thousands of you who donated new and gently used coats to help put a smile on all of those faces today.