PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- An annual winter coat drive is underway Wednesday. More than 8,000 new coats were handed out to students in Philadelphia.
This is the 11th year for the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia "Driving Away the Cold" program.
It's a hot day today but it won't be for long and that's why coat drives like this one are essential.
"I will wear it forever."
It's new, it's warm, and most importantly for little Cieria Lis, it's pink.
"It's comfy, and it's so pretty because I like the color," said Cieria.
Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation is donating over 51-thousand new winter coats to children this year, 8500 today alone for children in the school district of Philadelphia.
They enthusiastically filed into the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the annual coat drive.
Zoe Barker, 9-years-old said, "I picked it because I liked it. It's my favorite color green."
A warm child is a happy child, healthy and ready to learn when they get to school. The need is great.
Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite said, "These types of events are critically important for many of our students because it's one less thing the students and their families have to worry with."
Kevin Mazzucola, Exec Dir of Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation added, "A lot of these kids don't have a new anything and for them to get a new coat, to be warm when they go to school- warmth shouldn't be a luxury, it should be a staple for these kids, and it's our way of trying to do that."
More and more children have been helped since 2008. And since, they've given out 365,000 new coats.
The coats are purchased by donations from The Philadelphia Auto Show and its Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation. This year, they are also asking for the public's help.
"I think it's amazing," said Zoe.
For more information on how to get involved visit More than Auto Dealers.
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Thousands of Philly students benefit from annual coat drive