VILAS COUNTY (WAOW) -- The national Knights of Columbus council started the Coats For Kids campaign after an overwhelming need for warm winter coats was made worse by the economic climate last winter. Now the project is helping hundreds heat up in Vilas County.
Brand new winter coats will soon be on the backs of kids in need from Arbor Vitae-Woodruff Elementary.
"There are kids that are coming that go to school with 2 layers of coats on or with just shirts," explained Knights District 85 Deputy Ray Knapstein. "They don't have coats or the coats don't fit them."
The local Knights of Columbus chapter heard about the national program when it started 2 years ago. And leaders say they couldn't wait to get involved right here at home.
"We had to go through with the program. It's really worth it," Knapstein said.
And it's much appreciated. The school's social worker says more than 40% of students live at or below the poverty line.
"With rising costs of fuel and housing and food," said Lynne Currie. "a family spending $30 or $40 on a winter coat is a lot. It's a big chunk of their budget."
That's why the Knights don't think twice about coming to the rescue. "This is why we joined the Knights," Knapstein said. "This is really a worthwhile program and it definitely is much better to give than receive. This is definitely worth giving."
The Knights are handing out more than 100 coats to kids at 3 different schools in the Northwoods this week.