Shimkat Motors and Community Health Center of Fort Dodge are teaming up again this holiday season to make sure children in need are kept warm through the winter with a new coat.
The Coats for Kids program, in its fourth year of serving the families of Fort Dodge and the surrounding area, has been a joint effort between the auto dealership and health center for the past two years, when Shimkat's Coats 4 Kids program and the CHCFD's Share the Warmth program came together to better serve the community. Both had previously been separate coat drives for two years.
"Last year we partnered up with Shimkat's" said Shana Flatgard, communication coordinator with Community Health Center of Fort Dodge. "They were doing basically the same thing and knew that, together, we could reach more kids that way."
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Shana Flatgard, of the Community Health Center of Fort Dodge, organizes a rack of coats in preparation for the Coats for Kids coat drive Dec. 15.
"We excelled at collecting the coats, and they excelled at giving them out," said Ed Shimkat Jr., co-owner of Shimkat Motor Co. "They know the families who need the coats most."
Last year, more than 300 coats were given away throughout the winter to families in need, Flatgard said.
Donations of new and gently used winter coats, along with hats, scarves, mittens and snow boots, are being accepted in the Shimkat showroom at 3126 Fifth Ave. S. where donors can help fill the back of a minivan with winter gear, or at the Community Health Center, 126 N. 10th St.
Flatgard said there has been a greater demand for coats this year.
"I've already been taking names for coats," she said. "We are in definite need this year."
Shimkat said there will always be a need for coats, and they will try to do their part to help fill it.
"We'll do all we can to get the coats to the kids as they need them," said Shimkat. "We will take donations right up until the coat drive, but even after that they can bring them in. We'll take anything all year."
The coat giveaway will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 15 in the former Joselyn Office Supply building at 118 N. 10th St., next door to the Community Health Center. To sign up for a coat or for more information on how to donate, contact Flatgard at 576-6500.