Driving Away the Cold
Did you know that one in six children in the Philadelphia area lives in poverty? Did you know that the federal definition of poverty is a family of four living on an annual income below $23,700? In Pennsylvania, 500,000 children currently live in poverty, without the daily essentials most of us rely on, including a warm winter coat.
Driving Away the Cold was designed to ensure that financial classifications do not define the lives of these children. It’s a unique program with the simple mission of giving new coats to underprivileged children who would otherwise not have them. The gift of a new coat warms the body and soul of a child in need. It can supercharge the recipient’s self esteem and helps him or her to arrive to school warm, ready to learn and to receive two hot meals. It reminds that child that he or she is important.
Each year, 175 local new car dealers team up with their Foundation to contribute thousands of new, child-size coats. In October of 2014, our Foundation distributed 37,606 new coats through a network of YMCAs, schools, churches, homeless shelters, and other social service agencies. Every new coat directly impacts a child in need every day during the winter months.
We rely on our partners at the School District of Philadelphia, area YMCAs and non-profit organizations selected by participating dealerships to help get the new coats to local children who need them most. Sorry, we cannot give coats to individuals or families. The Foundation is especially grateful for its strong relationship with Operation Warm. Operation Warm is a Pennsylvania non-profit that provides new winter coats to impoverished children nationwide and is the supplier of the Driving Away the Cold coats. For the past several years, Operation Warm has generously contributed thousands of coats to the Foundation.
Since 2008, the Foundation has given 177,858 new coats – an amazing feat in just seven years!