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51,000 Area Children in Need To Receive Brand-New Winter Coats This Month Courtesy of the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation

East Norriton, Pa., Oct. 1, 2018 – The Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation is distributing a record 51,696 brand-new winter coats to area children in need this month. The effort is part of the eleventh annual Driving Away the Cold program, which involves approximately 180 local auto dealers teaming up for the greater good. One in six children in the Greater Philadelphia region lives in poverty and a warm winter coat is one of the essential items they often live without. This program aims to change that.

“We started this effort back in 2008. We were looking for a program that our dealer members could support collectively and one that really focused on improving the lives of young, area kids,” said Kevin Mazzucola, executive director of the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation. “That first year, we distributed a total of 18,000 new coats throughout the five-county region of Philadelphia. This year, we will do nearly three times that. Clearly and unfortunately, the need is present, and we are committed to doing our part to help with that.”

The 180 Driving Away the Cold Dealer Participants annually conduct a pledge program to help raise funds to purchase these brand-new winter coats. The Philadelphia Auto Show also plays a part by donating $2.00 from every show ticket sold to its Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation in support of the effort. The pledged coats are then distributed through 220 social services agencies, school districts, churches, shelters, etc. in the area, including 29 regional YMCA branches.

“A new, quality winter coat does so much more than keep a child warm,” added Mazzucola. “It provides them with a boost of self-confidence and a great sense of pride in ownership of that coat. All of these feelings ultimately help them arrive to school ready and willing to learn.”

This year’s contribution to the effort brings the program’s total number of coats given to approximately 365,000 since 2008.

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