Local car dealerships help children in need keep warm

Over 45,000 coats being distributed throughout region

By Lauren Parker- Gill, News Editor, The Times

An assembly line was formed from the back alley of the West Chester Y to the basement to deliver 1,482 coats to be distributed to children in need.

An assembly line was formed from the back alley of the West Chester YMCA to the basement, to deliver 1,482 coats to be distributed to children in need.

WEST CHESTER – As the colder weather of fall and eventually winter approach, 38 local car dealerships have been working to provide new coats to underprivileged children in the area, through fundraising with the CARing for Kids foundation.

According to the CARing for Kids website, 510,000 children in Pennsylvania are living in poverty. Since its inception in 2008, through this year, Driving Away the Cold has provided 265,252 new coats to local children in need.

This year, local dealerships were able to distribute 45,000 coats throughout the Philadelphia region, with 5,922 coats being distributed throughout Chester County. This past Tuesday, some of the participating dealerships gathered at the West Chester YMCA to deliver 1,482 coats that will be shared with children through out the area.

As the truck pulled up in the alley behind the YMCA, volunteers from some of the participating dealerships, the Y and other recipient organizations formed an assembly line from the truck, down the stairs and into a room in the basement, where the coats were being stored for distribution.

“If you’ve ever been to Citizen’s Bank Park and you put a coat on every seat and a bunch in the infield, that’s how many coats we’re putting out…” Jack Enright of Fred Beans Ford Lincoln of West Chester explained.

“Just this year alone.” Ed Stillman of Stillman Volvo chimed in. “The other thing I found impressive is that these coats are being distributed to 125 area YMCAs…I had no idea they were working with that many Ys.”

(Left to right) Kimberly Copeland and Jessica Young with Colonial Hyundai, Lisa O’Donnell, Fred Beans Ford Lincoln of West Chester, Franchesca Short and Staffani Witmer of Oscar Lasko YMCA, Jack Enright of Fred Beans Ford Lincoln of West Chester, Ed and Jon Stillman with Stillman Volvo and Susan Flynn of Chester County Family Academy were on hand at the West Chester YMCA to help unload over 1,400 coats for this year's Driving Away the Cold Event.

(Left to right) Kimberly Copeland and Jessica Young with Colonial Hyundai, Lisa O’Donnell with Fred Beans Ford Lincoln of West Chester, Franchesca Short and Staffani Witmer of Oscar Lasko YMCA, Jack Enright of Fred Beans Ford Lincoln of West Chester, Ed and Jon Stillman with Stillman Volvo and Susan Flynn of Chester County Family Academy were on hand at the West Chester YMCA to help unload over 1,400 coats for this year’s Driving Away the Cold event.

Fred Beans Ford Lincoln and Stillman Volvo are just two of the dealerships that helped raise money for, purchase and distribute the coats in the area. According to a press release, the following 36 dealerships located in Chester County also participated in this year’s efforts:

Anthony D’Ambrosio Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Audi Devon, Audi West Chester, BMW of Devon, Brian Hoskins Ford, Colonial Hyundai, Courtesy Chrysler Jeep, Del Chevrolet, Del Toyota, Devon Nissan, Euro Motorcars Devon, Exton Nissan, Faulkner Buick-GMC West Chester, Fred Beans Volkswagen, Garnet Volkswagen, Infiniti of West Chester, Jaguar Land Rover West Chester, John Kennedy Ford Phoenixville, Kelly Chevrolet, Keystone Volvo – Berwyn, Kia of Coatesville, Kia of West Chester, Lexus of Chester Springs, Maserati of The Main Line, Matthews Paoli Ford, McLaren Philadelphia, Mercedes-Benz of West Chester, Otto’s BMW, Otto’s MINI, Piazza Acura of West Chester, Roberts Chevrolet, Roberts Honda, Roberts Subaru, Scott Honda of West Chester, Sloan Ford and Sloane Toyota Scion of Malvern.

The coats are being distributed to children in need through various programs, such as social services agencies, shelters, after school programs and of course the local YMCA branches. The nonprofit partners are then responsible for identifying the children who will benefit the most from the program and giving them the gift of a brand-new, warm coat for the upcoming season.

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