By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) and The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools (http://okckids.com/index.php ) are seeking community partners to reach their fundraising goal this winter for the Coat-A-Kid program.
Foundation President and CEO Mary Mélon and OKCPS Acting Superintendent Aurora Lora are working together to raise $120,000 by October 1st to purchase new coats for students in need through the Coat-A-Kid project.
Advocates of the program say that without “Coat-A-Kid,” more than 7,000 Oklahoma City Public Schools students would not have a coat to keep them warm this winter.
“The Foundation is asking the community to step up and make sure no child in the district goes without a winter coat,” said Mélon. “We are also encouraging anyone interested to post about Coat-A-Kid on their websites and social media and promote employee fundraising drives with #CoatAKid.
“Students learn best when they are safe, healthy and happy, and providing a warm winter coat can be life changing,” Mélon added.” Please connect with us if you have an interest in donating or hosting a drive at your organization or church.”
OKCPS is the state’s largest school district, with 46,000 students, and 90 percent are living at or below the poverty line.
“We know our students often do not have the means or support for a warm coat to protect them through the winter. This was evident during last year’s bitterly cold winter in Oklahoma,” said Amanda Pina, OKCPS Community Relations Specialist.
“This program allows us to engage our community and partner with a nationally recognized organization to help meet the needs of the children in the District,” Pina added.
According to the foundation, the cost to coat one child is just $20. It costs $500 to coat a class, $2,000 to coat a grade, $5,000 to coat a school, and $10,000 to coat a community.
Donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of each donation goes to providing coats. Volunteers will also be needed in October to help sort and distribute the coats.
Created in 1984, The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance excellence, create champions and build strong community support for lasting success in Oklahoma City Public Schools.
Former Chief Operating Officer & Chief Human Resources Officer of OKC Public Schools, Rod McKinley said, “During temperatures below zero, it can take as few as 15 minutes for frostbite to occur. Please support this great program to supply cold weather clothing to these students of need. Students should be able to concentrate on learning verses not just trying to survive the cold weather.”
Concerned citizens can sign up to volunteer or donate online at www.okcps.org/CoatAKid. Checks can be made out to The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools with Coat-A-Kid in the memo line.
For more information, contact Amanda Piña at 405-587-0234 or [email protected]
or Erin Bellamy at 405-604-5977 or [email protected].