ABOVE: The Kiwanis Club of Chester delivered 85 coats to Ecoff Elementary on Friday. Pictured from left are principal Josh Cole, Pat Dvorak and Hank Dvorak.
A local civic group recently donated 165 winter coats to students at four local elementary schools.
The Kiwanis Club of Chester started the program last year, member Pat Dvorak said. She came up with the idea and worked with Kiwanis member Nicole Jordan and others on the project.
“We did not realize how great a need there is in our area until we began collecting the coats and receiving requests from the schools to fill that need,” Dvorak said.
Last year’s total was 90 coats, which were distributed to three schools: Harrowgate, Marguerite Christian and C.C. Wells. This year Ecoff was added to the list.
Dvorak said the group purchased gently used children’s coats at Goodwill and local consignment stores and washed them. Some new coats were also purchased.
She noted that all of the coats have functioning buttons and zippers with no names or tears.
In addition to the coat donations, the club also delivered books to the Chester YMCA for their literacy outreach program.
The Kiwanis Club has been in existence 46 years and supports a variety of efforts, including scholarships for graduating seniors at Thomas Dale High School and the annual Christmas parade. The club meets Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 4111 Dodomeade St.