Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Oct 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Warm Hearts

coatsSixth annual Coats for Kids drive is underway

For the sixth year running, Santa Cruz’s underprivileged children will feel the warmth of a new winter coat this holiday season. The yearly Coats for Kids drive is organized by Santa Cruz’s Classic Cleaners and its owner, Pamela Whittington. Whittington knows firsthand the importance of a winter coat to a child who doesn’t have much else.

When she was a child, Whittington’s mother suffered a severe stroke and became wheelchair bound. Without medical insurance, her family struggled with tremendous financial burdens, making even food and housing a luxury. But each Christmas, they received a donation of a home-cooked meal, a small toy, and a coat.

“Just before Christmas, the Salvation Army would pull up to our house in their uniforms,” says Whittington. “It was so wonderful and it was so embarrassing.”

But despite the shame she felt, the young Whittington anxiously looked forward to that Christmas delivery.

“That coat … I thought about it all year long,” she says. “It was kind of like, ‘I’m a good girl and I’m going to get a good coat.’”

To Whittington, her yearly coats did much more than protect her from inclement weather, and she knows that the children who benefit from Coats for Kids feel the same way.

“You put on a coat when you’re leaving the house in the morning and it covers up what’s going on underneath. It does more than keep you warm,” she says. “If it weren’t for getting a cool coat, I probably wouldn’t have continued my education. I wouldn’t be the person I am.”

So when Whittington purchased the Classic Cleaners business six years ago, she didn’t hesitate to start the annual clothing drive.

“When I started putting the business plan together, [Coats for Kids] was one of the first things I established,” she says. “I believe this is what businesses need to do. It’s not anything special, it’s just what you’re supposed to do.”

Last year, the Coats for Kids drive collected 9,000 coats and distributed them to children throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Though they have only collected 6,000 coats this season, Whittington is hoping that they can collect 10,000 in time for Christmas. In addition to receiving new and gently used coats, the drive has received monetary donations from Bay Federal Credit Union and an anonymous source. Local Girl Scouts used to the funds to purchase new coats at Kohl’s in the Capitola Mall on Dec. 4.  

Whittington hopes to reach the 10,000 coat mark by Dec. 16 so that all of the coats can be distributed by Christmas Eve. However, Classic Cleaners accepts donations year-round and keeps them in storage until the holiday season. The coats will be distributed to children through a number of different organizations, including Head Start and Second Harvest Food Bank. In addition, each foster child in the county will receive a coat through the drive.

 


For more information about Coats for Kids, visit ClassicCleanersSC.com.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Not Cool

Even Bill Murray’s hipster cred can’t elevate ‘St. Vincent’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

What is Santa Cruz’s biggest eyesore?

David Finn, Santa Cruz, Graduate Student

 

Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese