Coats for the Cold

Coats for the Cold is an annual coat drive to collect thousands of coats for those in need in our area. The community is invited to donate used men’s, women’s and children’s coats of all kinds and sizes at any KARM Stores location or any Prestige Cleaners location during designated coat drive weeks each fall.  Then those in need of a coat are encouraged to contact local service agencies or churches to receive a coat voucher, then shop at any KARM Stores location with the voucher during the coat distribution dates listed below.

Coats for the Cold 2017 Dates and Info

Coat Collection Dates: October 16th to November 11th

Drop off at any KARM Stores or Prestige Cleaners location in the provided carts

Coat Distribution Dates: November 13th to December 2nd

Bring a coat coat voucher to any KARM Stores location to select a coat

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I get a coat voucher?  – Many area churches are participating as coat voucher partners. Please contact area churches to inquire about coat vouchers.
  • How does my organization participate in the coat drive?  – Feel free to collect coats at your location, then bring them to any KARM Stores or Prestige Cleaners location by November 11th.
  • How do I get a poster to use with our coat drive? – We’ve created several different sizes of posters you can download and print.
  • Are volunteers needed to help with the coat drive? – Yes!  It takes many hands to sort and hang thousands of coats!  Opportunities will be available to help at all KARM Stores locations beginning on October 30th. You’ll be able to select a day, time and location to serve and schedule your volunteer experience online.

Coats for the Cold Volunteer Opportunities

There are many, many ways to volunteer for Coats for the Cold! Each donated coat must be sorted by gender and size prior to November 13th at all KARM Stores locations. Additional help is needed to display them properly from November 16th to December 2nd.  Select a location, date and time to be a part of this community-wide endeavor.



Coats for the Cold History

Coats for the Cold has been a Knoxville tradition for over 32 years. It was begun by WIVK-FM when a news story reported that a homeless man  froze to death on the streets of Knoxville one cold winter night. Since then, Coats for the Cold strikes a powerful chord each year within the volunteer spirit of East Tennessee. Knox Area Rescue Ministries now spearheads the coat drive in partnership with WIVK-FM and WVLT-TV, who help broadcast the message each year, Prestige Cleaners who acts as an additional collection site and cleans as many coats as possible, and especially with the KARM Stores, who manage all storage and distribution of the coats.  In 2016 East Tennessee donated over 6,000 coats to keep those in need warm.

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