On Monday, Knox Area Rescue Ministries began its 32nd "Coats for the Cold" collection drive to help those in need this winter.
"Coats for the Cold" began Oct. 16 and will run until Saturday, Nov. 11. People can drop off warm coats at all KARM store locations and Prestige Cleaners locations in the greater Knoxville area during their drop off hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
- Farragut: 10612 Kingston Pike
- West Knoxville: 115 Sherlake Lane
- Rocky Hill: 7702 South Northshore Drive
- Bearden: 5917 Kingston Pike
- North Knoxville: 314 Merchants Drive and 3935 Western Avenue
- Halls: 6840 Maynardville Pike
- Downtown: 733 North Hall of Fame Drive
- South Knoxville: 4221 Chapman Highway
- East Knoxville: 2908 Knoxville Center Drive
- Alcoa: 250 South Hall Road
- Clinton: 208 South Main Street
- Jefferson City: 1149 East Old Andrew Johnson Highway
- Lenoir City: 731 Highway 321
- Morristown: 2161 West Andrew Johnson Highway
- Oak Ridge: 461 Oak Ridge Turnpike
- Powell: 3501 West Emory Road
- Sevierville: 1916 Winfield Dunn Parkway
KARM is asking for actual winter coats -- not sweaters, sweatshirts or other apparel. The group said children's coats for all ages and XXL adult-sized coats are especially needed. Volunteers are also needed to help at KARM stores staring Oct. 30th. People can sign up at this link.
Once donations are collected, the coats will be made available in a special area of each of the 18 KARM Stores between Nov. 13 and Dec. 2. Those wishing to receive a free coat will need a coat voucher, which can be received by contacting area churches, local social services agencies and schools.
"Coats for the Cold" began in 1985 after WIVK-FM reported a homeless man had frozen to death in the streets of Knoxville. Last year, the donation drive collected 6,000 winter coats and gave them all away.
“The Knoxville community always responds so generously to the “Coats for the Cold” drive,” said Burt Rosen, KARM President and CEO. “I’d like to thank both our sponsors and those who donate coats for helping to ensure that those in need will be able to face the cold temperatures this year with a warm winter coat.”
KARM houses nearly 400 people each night and provides around 1,000 meals daily, and has been in the area as a Christian Ministry since 1960.