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Coats for Kids gives thousands of coats to central Indiana children

This year's event was a huge success, thanks to the generosity of Hoosiers.

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly 3,000 children will be warm this winter thanks to Coats for Kids, a yearly event in central Indiana that provides kids with coats, hats and gloves — free of charge. 

Channel 13 legend Bob Gregory started the campaign more than three decades ago.

13News, in partnership with the Salvation Army and Classic Cleaners, has been able to keep it going, thanks to the generosity of Hoosiers all across the area.

About 2,900 children and teenagers up to age 17 signed up for this year's event, which was held Saturday at the Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The event is central Indiana's largest coat distribution. 

It's a massive undertaking that requires months of planning and a whole lot of volunteers.

During the event, the 13News crew served as shoppers, helping kids pick out coats.

With inflation hitting a 40-year high, coat and monetary donations for this event were needed more than ever. 

Thousands of coats were donated ahead of the event. Those coats were cleaned by Classic Cleaners and, on Tuesday, eighth-grade students from Christ the King Catholic School helped set up the event and sort through the coats. 

People shopping for coats may have noticed that many of them are new. 

In the past, a $25 donation would cover the cost of one coat. But this year, the average cost of a coat soared to $40. Hoosier donations helped cover that cost. 

And, the Salvation Army said both Sam's Club and Walmart on East 96th Street also helped make the most of its Coats for Kids donations. 

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