Our program meets a continuing need with 276 new coats. Read on...
The 2022 Report
Paul St. Amand reporting...
For over ten years, our council has purchased new winter coats through Supreme’s “Coats for Kids” program and distributed them to our Salem schools and various charities. This year, we purchased 276 coats at a cost of $5,490, to distribute to the public Salem schools, the Salem Boys and Girls Club, and to the Salem Christmas Fund.
We get 21 cartons of coats, twelve coats to a carton, and we place a “Council 4442” address label on the coat tag of each coat. We won’t see the actual child who gets a coat, since that is handled by the school teachers and nurses, but we hope that our “brand” will be seen and recognized. Maybe some dad, seeing the label, will check us out and join?
Putting on labels onto 276 coats is a chore. Helping us out immensely was the 8th grade at St. Joseph Regional Catholic School, who were volunteered by Principal Mary Croteau and the grade teacher to aid us in this charity work. Working in the school gym, the kids opened the boxes and placed the labels and resealed the cartons, making them ready for delivery by the knights. Thank you, to all my hard-working minions!
New this year to our “system” is the work of Kay Barretto, working with the Salem superintendent’s office, that organize a much-improved distribution process. At the end of school last June, all the remaining coats from last year’s program were recalled to the superintendent's building. There, Kay and husband Steve, inventoried the coats and gave me that report. That allowed us to fill a “replenishment” order. This year’s coats for Salem schools were all delivered to the superintendent's building, where they will be handed out to each of the schools as they are needed. This will conserve inventory and balance the needs for coats among the schools. Thank you to Kay and Steve and Deborah Payne.
All this could not happen without the bingo workers who earned the money for the purchase. Thanks to FS Al Cormier, who placed the order and tracked the progress of the 21 cartons as they made their way through the UPS delivery system.
The "Factory Floor" = SJRCS gym - 2022
2022 - 8th Grade Minion work team
The 2020 Report:
Paul St. Amand reporting. The Salem area schools were canvassed as to their need for the coming season. Although school was "out" because of Covid, I did get responses from several schools. Some schools still had a good inventory of coats from 2019 and did not request a resupply.
Because of the reduction in funds for the program, caused by the Covid hit to our fund raising, we decided to limit our distribution to the Salem area. Charlie Walsh, FS, ordered 192 coats from Supreme. When the coats arrived in late September at the council hall, a group of voluteers gathered, taking social distance precautions, to do our sort and label routine. Thanks go to Don Simmons, Chanel Simard, Ralph and Rita Miele, Gary Karibian, Charlie Walsh, and Dave Thompson who helped me sort and label the coats with our KofC Council 4442 stickers onto the coat tags.
This year, we were all very happy that Supreme had "shuffled the deck" so that each individual carton of 12 coats were of mixed sizes and styles. We only had to take a coat from its carton, apply our brand, and put the coat back into the same carton; no musical chairs involved! (See the note below on the 2019 coats program for details on this shuffling ordeal.)
Coats were delivered to the Salem Boys and Girls Club, the Barron, Woodbury, Soule, Fisk, and North Salem schools, and the Salem Town Welfare Office. Because the Salem Christmas fund was not held as a walk-in program, due to Covid, no coats were given away trough that outlet.
We received heart-felt thanks from the nurses and prinicpals of the school and the town officers for our donation. They will pass out the coats directly to the kids who need them!
The 2019 report:
Charlie Walsh then ordered 32 cartons of coats that represents a donation of over $8,000. This year, the Soule, North Salem, and Woodbury schools, Salem welfare office, Salem Boys and Girls Club, Ruth's House in Haverhill, two needy school in Lawrence (where Charlie Walsh's daughters teach) and the Pleasant St. Methodist Church pantry were recipients. More coats are reserved, sitting in the storage bin, for our Christmas toy drive in December.
When the coats arrived, Julian Roy, Ron Bourque, Rico Casaletto, Don and Linda Simmons, Norm Comeau, Ralph Mile, Paul St.Amand, Dick Collopy, Charlie Walsh, Alan Phair helped to sort and label and repack and then either delivered the boxes or stored the coats for Christmas. Also, about 25 seventh and eight graders from St. Joseph Regional Catholic School participated as part of their service commitment; “Mrs C”(school principal Mary Croteau) let us use the school gym as turn-around storage and work space and enlisted the students to help as a service project for the community.
In all, 384 coats were gotten from Supreme. We unpacked the coats, attached our council's "KofC Brand Label" onto the coat's label (so that the children and their parents would know who donated the coats; a possible recruiting tool?) then shuffled coats among the cartons so that each carton of 12 coats would have various styles. This is to avoid possible embarrassment on the playground. If a school got one carton of 12 boys coats, all identical style, then at recess time if 12 kids show up with the same style coats the taunting could start, "Hey, you got one of dem KofC coats. You must be poor!"
FYI: In the past, Supreme has been good about shipping cartons with each carton being a difference style. This year, Supreme has packed each carton of 12 coats with two styles, 6 of one style and 6 of another. This helps out councils with small orders to “diversify” their distribution. However, in our order for 32 cartons, our council got 10 cartons of boys coats, each carton being identical to the other. Each carton does have two styles, but our result is that we have 60 coats of one style and 60 of the other. We will give feedback to Supreme on this and hope to have more “diversity” next year.