Local car dealers give coats to school children

PHILADELPHIA - October 10, 2012

Thanks to an impressive effort by auto dealers and their partners, that number is decreasing.

Close to 6,000 kids in need got bundled up in their brand new coats Wednesday.

"We feel that warmth shouldn't be a luxury, it's a staple for these kids," said Kevin Mazzucola, Executive Director of Auto Dealers Caring for Kids.

Buckets, bins and even the backs seats of brand new cars were filled with winter coats for kids in need from roughly 15 elementary schools in the Philadelphia School District.

"We looked at schools that are really economically disadvantaged, and we started to look at the numbers," said Claudia Avarette from the Philadelphia School District. "We wanted to identify families and children who really can benefit from this beautiful gift."

Children like Brianna Frazier were very thrilled.

"I am happy, because I am getting a new coat from here," said Brianna.

More than 170 local dealerships helped collect all of the warm winter coats. It's all part of the The Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation's fifth annual Driving Away the Cold program.

"This will be 30,000 coats we are distributing throughout the 5 county area and will total over 100,000 coats in five years," Mazzucola.

It's the charity's first year teaming up with the school district, and these kids say they couldn't be more grateful for the gift of warmth.

"It's exciting and cool," said Brianna.

"This is an awesome day for the children of Philadelphia," said Avarette.

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