Coats for the Cold History
Coats for the Cold has been a Knoxville tradition for 37 years. WIVK-FM started this coat drive when a news story reported that a homeless man had frozen to death on the streets of Knoxville one cold winter night. Since then, Coats for the Cold strikes a powerful chord among the volunteers of East Tennessee. Knox Area Rescue Ministries now spearheads the coat drive in partnership with WIVK-FM and WVLT-TV, who help broadcast the need; Prestige Cleaners, who acts as a collection site and cleans as many coats as possible; and with KARM Stores, who manage all storage and distribution of the coats.
In 2021, the East Tennessee community helped collect 10,286 coats. Of those, we gave away 8,583 coats in the Knox area; remaining coats were given to Mission of Hope to be distributed in Appalachian areas.