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Coats for Kids drive extended through February 28 due to high demand

Rosane Moura keeps busy bagging coats at Anton’s Cleaners in Stoughton. The dry cleaning chain is taking in thousands of coats as part of its annual Coats for Kids drive.

All of the coats get professionally cleaned before they’re given away to families in need.

This was supposed to be the final week of the drive, but the deadline was extended until the end of February because of the high demand for warm winter coats for those in need.

“You get the push right now, right after Christmas because people that can afford coats get coats or they grow out of their coats. If you have kids, you know how it is. They grow out of coats and need coats, so we get a lot more right now through the beginning of January,” said Arthur Anton, Jr., Chief Operating Officer at Anton’s Cleaners.

The family business has cleaned and distributed more than one-million coats since they held their first coat drive in 1994.

Typically, the goal is about 50-thousand coats, but this year, due to COVID-19, they expect to collect about half that amount.

“We’re down on the number of coats that we’ve gotten in so far because we get a lot of our coats through schools and large schools aren’t in session right now, so we don’t have that resource right now,” Anton said.

The dry-cleaning chain is collecting gently used coats, of all sizes, through the end of February. After cleaning them, Anton’s will donate them to 56 different charities, including the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, which serves more than 34,000 clients each year.

“These are folks who were working and lost their jobs or are still working. The parents are still working, but they may not be working as many hours, so it’s about people who are trying very hard but under these circumstances, it’s very difficult for people,” said Evelyn Friedman, Executive Director of the Greater Lawrence Community Council.

Boston 25 has been a partner with the Coats For Kids program for 20 years, but this year our Boston 25 Weather Team isn’t able to collect winter coats due to COVID-19 restrictions.


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