Coats for the Cold is an annual coat drive to collect thousands of coats for those in our area who otherwise may not have a coat during the quickly approaching winter months.
The community is invited to donate new and gently-used men’s, women’s and children’s coats at any KARM Stores or Prestige Cleaners location any time between October 16 to November 11.
Those in need of a coat are encouraged to contact local service agencies or churches to receive a coat voucher, then shop at any KARM Stores location with the voucher any time between November 13 to December 9.
Coats for the Cold History
Coats for the Cold has been a Knoxville tradition for 38 years. WIVK-FM started this coat drive when a news story reported that a homeless man had frozen to death on the streets of Knoxville one cold winter night. Since then, Coats for the Cold strikes a powerful chord among the volunteers of East Tennessee. Knox Area Rescue Ministries now spearheads the coat drive in partnership with WIVK-FM and WVLT-TV, who help broadcast the need; Prestige Cleaners, who acts as a collection site and cleans as many coats as possible; and with KARM Stores, who manage all storage and distribution of the coats.
In 2022, the East Tennessee community helped collect 10,177 coats. Of those, we gave away 8,866 coats in the Knox area; remaining coats were given to Mission of Hope to be distributed in Appalachian areas.