Coats warm kids and spirits - Philadelphia news

WEST PHILADELPHIA - November 19, 2008 "It feel very cold like it's winter time already," 9-year-old Saoeah Reese said.

Saoeah Reese loves her brand new coat that was donated to her by the Keeping Kids Warm Program and she knows how much it will help her mom.

"My mom will be very happy she won't have to buy me another one," Saoeah said.

Every student at James Rhodes Elementary School and 5 other Philadelphia schools got a warm winter coat. There were dozens of racks of stylish coats to choose from and volunteers helped size the kids to be sure they had a little room to grow.

Some 20,000 coats have been donated nationwide this winter by the Philadelphia based Charming Shoppes, Inc., whose family of brands includes Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug.

"It feels good because you don't want to go outside with just a sweater and be freezing like this and you can play out in the snow and make snowmen," 10-year-old James Brown said.

"My coat was cold when I went outside," 8-year-old Migdalaia Brooks said.

Volunteers who come year after year say you just have to look at the kids faces and you see how much they appreciate the chance to stay warm through the winter.

"It's hard out there right now and anyone who can help really needs to," Cinda Belvedere, a Keeping Kids Warm volunteer, said.

The goal of the program is, obviously, to keep kids warm, but to also build their self-confidence and let them know they deserve a brand new, beautiful, warm winter coat.

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