Keeping Kids Warm Program makes way to Oklahoma


Tuesday, October 21st 2008, 7:22 pm
By: News 9


By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- November is approaching, which means it won't be long before cooler days arrive.

Colder temperatures on the horizon are the reason some kids are getting winter coats now, and they're getting them for free.

The auditorium at Capitol Hill Elementary was packed with students Tuesday as organizers participated in hosting a coat giveaway. They anticipated the event would take the entire school day.

William Erwin is one of 950 excited kids at Capitol Hill, with a never-before-worn cold weather jacket.

Antonio De Los Santos also received a jacket. Every single student at the school got to pick out their favorite.

The Keeping Kids Warm Program outfits 20,000 kids across the country with a brand new coat each year.

This year is the first time the company Charming Shoppe's Inc. has chosen Oklahoma.

Workers from Charming Shoppe's stores such as Lane Bryant and Catherine's are stuffing the bags with jackets and some extras such as a backpack and school supplies. They said Capitol Hill Elementary students were picked as recipients because of an extraordinary nomination essay.

"They felt like the kids deserved them," Jackie Martinez with Charming Shoppes Inc. said. "This is the southwest part of town, predominantly Hispanic. You know, with the way things are going right now, they figured the kids would be in the need of new coats."

The students' grateful hearts show through in their smiling faces, many understanding their need for a heavy winter jacket and others, just happy to have new threads.

"It's blue, it fits pretty good and it looks cool," fifth-grader Antonio De Los Santos said.

Capitol Hill is one of three schools in Oklahoma City chosen in the Keeping Kids Warm Program. Martin Luther King Elementary will get coats as well as students at Crutcho Elementary.