Coats for Kids

Coats for Kids is a annual service project of The Junior League of Austin and several local businesses. Donations of new or gently-used coats were collected by Jack Brown Cleaners during November, and then given to children (under 18 years old) at last Saturday’s Distribution Day. I’ve read that over 34,000 coats were collected this year.
Last week I volunteered for a Coats for Kids Sorting Evening at the Palmer Events Center. The logistics of these large-scale events always fascinate me. As you might expect, the coats were sorted according to size, ranging from Infant to Youth Extra-Large.
My first task was to merge new with used coats. Other volunteers created a rack of used coats, and then I inserted brand-new ski jackets on the rack, allowing recipients to choose from a wide and appealing selection of coats. One of my completed and properly-merged racks is on the left in this photo. Pretty impressive, huh?
Having mastered my initial task, I was then assigned to load the Surplus boxes. Many, many donations are received each year, but Coats for Kids distributes only heavier, warmer coats. Items such as sweatshirts, sweaters, and light jackets are loaded into huge boxes and re-donated to other organizations.
While loading Surplus boxes, another volunteer and I came across a nearly-new NBA Celtics jacket. Apparently this guy was a big Celtics fan because he debated for a while whether it was proper to offer a donation for the jacket. We hung the jacket on an empty rack while he pondered this dilemma. Finally he decided that he was there to volunteer, not to shop for himself, and so the jacket went into the Surplus box. At home that evening, I saw an NBA Boston Celtics Authentic Vintage 80s Satin Starter Jacket on eBay for $129. I suspect my volunteer partner checked on the value of the jacket too.

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