Coats for Kids Foundation by Operation Warm

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paulcherylThe Coats for Kids Foundation was established in January 2004 as a public, charitable foundation by Paul and Cheryl Darby of Alexandria, VA. It received IRS recognition as a 501(c)(3) in March 2004. The Coats for Kids Foundation mission is “to ensure that every child who needs a winter coat receives a new one.”  

The growth of Coats For Kids Foundation became more than the Darby's were able to handle on their own. Beginning in 2011, Coats For Kids Foundation programs continue as a service of Operation Warm. Operation Warm, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 38-3663310) formed in November 2002 operates in 37 states.

Our vision remains unchanged. With your generosity, we will continue to provide clothing, specifically new winter coats to children in need. 

CFK distinguishes itself from other very worthwhile and commendable programs by:

  • Only distributing new winter coats
  • Including a pair of new gloves and a new winter hat, when they are available, and
  • Accepting requests for coats and delivering them all winter long—from October through the end of March.  Most coat drives only operate between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you have "gently used" coats, as they are termed, please contact the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other local entity to donate them.  The Coats for Kids Foundation only distributes new coats.

Why New Coatsbessingsinthestreet_021_edited-1

Giving a child a new coat positively impacts that child’s self-esteem and self-worth.  We believe—and school principals, nurses, and social workers agree—that the impact on kids that receive coats from CFK is dramatic, as evidenced by heads held high, smiles, and fewer missed days of school because of illness. Most kids that receive a coat from CFK either have never had a winter coat or, at best, have had a hand-me-down from a parent, sibling, or clothing box.


Our delivery of coats is done through schools, county or local social service agencies, churches/synagogues, and through other non-profit organizations that work with at-risk and disadvantaged children.   Requests for coats are processed via email from a standard request form and are assembled as quickly as possible.  If a shipping partner can not be found, organizations making the request will be responsible for shipping & handling expenses. 

ContributionsCoats for Kids Event

We provide contribution receipts for donations from individuals, businesses, and groups. All donations of funding, in-kind clothing (e.g. coats, hats, gloves), and services (e.g. transportation) receive a receipt for tax purposes. 

Supply Sources

Our primary supply source today is through our partnership with Operation Warm.

Coat Sizes

Coat sizes ranging from 4T-18/20 and larger kids in adult sizes M and L are generally available.  

Delivery Area

The Coats For Kids Foundation program was founded in Alexandria, Virginia. Together with Operation Warm, the program has expanded across the U.S.

We deliver nationwide, provided that there is local fundraising to underwrite the cost the coat program.

Schools Partnership Program

In 2005, CFK began a new program that encourages service organizations and businesses to identify a school that they wish to support and work with the foundation to quantify the need, establish a fundraising goal, have us source and pack the coats for delivery and then have the group or business participate in presenting the coats to the school and its students. 

The first corporation to use this program was MCI in Washington, DC.  Its Community Action Team adopted John Adams Elementary School and provided a $5,000 grant to source, pack and deliver 199 new winter coats, hats, and gloves last year.   In addition, the MCI staff raised an additional $2,000 to further the work of the Coats for Kids Foundation.  MCI, Chicago, carried out a similar program with Loop Elementary School. MCI made a $2,500 grant to CFK for this program. In 2006, Coats for Kids was “adopted” by the Air Force Acquisition staff, headquartered in Rosslyn, VA .  Their month-long new coat drive resulted in a donation of 44 new winter coats, hats, and pairs of gloves. This program has continued over the years with organizations including Target.

Where Our Money Goes

Donations are used to provide winter coats to needy children and for other philanthropic endeavors and costs supporting the charitable giving program. 
Annually, Operation Warm is audited and files Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service.  Copies are available upon request by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

How You Can Help

  • Volunteer to man tables at charity fairs for the Combined Federal Campaign.
  • Sponsor a local coat drive, through Adopt-A-School or by teaming with community organizations such as Rotary.
  • Contribute either dollars or new coats to Coats for Kids Foundation.

If you would like more information about the Coats for Kids Foundation, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 703-567-COAT (2628).

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Lots of people have visited since Sept. 2004. | Coats for Kids Foundation, Inc. | Arlington, VA | Toll Free # 855-731-COAT (2628)
© 2011 Coats for Kids Inc.