By Chris Fish
BREVARD - For the third year in a row, Brevard County Commissioner Andy Anderson and his team will ensure no kids are left out in the could this winter, as part of the "Coats for Kids" drive, launching Saturday, Oct. 27.
"Coats for Kids" is a countywide initiative designed to combat the growing number of children in Brevard without winter coats. The coat drive, which will kick off at the annual "Breakfast in the Park" event, will run through Dec. 1.
"Andy does a breakfast or lunch every year for the community, as a way to thank them (for there support within the program)," said Danielle Stern, community affairs specialist for Commissioner Anderson. "We thought that would be a good time to start the donation."
During the previous two drives, more than 2,000 coats were collected for Brevard Children in need.
"The community has been really helpful within the past couple of years," Ms. Stern said. "Every coat we receive is given away. Kids grow every year. Even if they received a coat last year, it may not fit them. There is always a need to donate."
Ms. Stern said, this year, the drive will only accept new coats, due to the high costs of cleaning and repairing old ones.
All Brevard County libraries will be accepting donations at their front desks.
This year's drive will benefit Brevard Family Partnership, which is a local nonprofit organization in contract with the Florida Department of Children and Families and is the lead child welfare agency in Brevard County.
Brevard Family Partnership manages abuse prevention services, foster care, adoptions for children permanently removed from their homes, as well as transitional services for youth, who age out of foster care without being adopted. The program currently has more than 850 children in its care.
Ms. Stern said Commissioner Anderson started the coat drive after visiting local schools and seeing children without coats.
"Andy was at a school one time, and it was the middle of winter," she said. "He saw children who were freezing, and he talked to the teachers, and they said some of the kids couldn't afford coats."
Breakfast in the Park will be held from 8-11 a.m., Oct. 27, at Howard Futch Park, 2301 N. Highway A1A, in Indialantic. Breakfast will be provided and served by Cub Scout Pack 772 of Palm Bay.
For more information, please call the District 5 Commission Office at (321) 253-6611.