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 at any KARM Stores location or any Prestige Cleaners location during designated coat drive weeks each fall.

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 2018 Dates and Info

Coat Collection Dates: October 15th to November 10th

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

Coat Distribution Dates: November 12th to December 8th

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 service agencies and churches participate as coat voucher partners. Please contact your local church or social worker 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 12th.
  • 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 29th. Select a day, time and location to serve and provide the information requested below in the “Coats for the Cold Volunteer Opportunities” to schedule your volunteer experience online.

Coats for the Cold Volunteer Opportunities

There are many, many ways to volunteer for Coats for the Cold! At all KARM Stores locations, each donated coat must be sorted by gender and size prior to November 12th. Additional help is needed to display them properly from November 12th to December 8th.  Select a KARM Stores 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 more than 30 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 each year within the volunteer spirit of East Tennessee. Knox Area Rescue Ministries now spearheads the coat drive each year in partnership with WIVK-FM and WVLT-TV, who help broadcast the message; Prestige Cleaners, who acts as an additional collection site and cleans as many coats as possible; and especially with KARM Stores, who manage all storage and distribution of the coats.  In 2017 East Tennessee donated over 7,000 coats to keep those in need warm.

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