By Amy Berg, Staff Writer
Minnesota winters can be harsh and they are most certainly long. Good outerwear is important to combat the frigid cold, but not all children have a jacket suitable for winter.
The Knights of Columbus has recognized the necessity of a winter jacket for each and every child. The local Knights of Columbus, Council 1625, recently donated 48 coats to local children in need.
Local KC member Vic Serbus reported that this is the second year they have participated in the program. Last year they donated 48 coats. The “Coats for Kids” program was launched in 2009 on a national Knights level.
In last year’s winter season 1,195 councils participated donating a total of 51,924 coats. The Knights of Columbus reported that this was the highest amount of coats they had donated since starting the program.
This year, the local Knights council donated 24 coats to the GFW Elementary School and 24 to the Santa’s Closet of Renville County. Serbus indicated that they were going to donate to the Cedar Mountain School system, but they had already received coats through the Morgan Knights of Columbus Council.
“We just got a call from someone at the Santa’s Closet saying that they were very much needed,” Serbus said. “That’s what this is for. As long as there’s a need, we would like to continue to do this.”
All of the coats are ordered through the national Knights of Columbus. A case consists of 12 coats in a variety of sizes from small, medium, large, to extra-large. The sizes are geared toward elementary and middle school students. Each case costs $220.
Part of the funding for the program was generated through a steak fry hosted by the Knights at Squirrels Bar and Grill. The remaining dollars came from a grant the council applied for and received from the Knights at the state.
Since the program’s inauguration in 2009, the Knights of Columbus have donated over 167,000 coats.
“It’s a very worthwhile program,” Serbus said.
The KC Council 1625 consists of about 100 members from Fairfax, Franklin, Gibbon, and Lafayette.