PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — School District of Philadelphia students received a warm welcome at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Tuesday morning.
More than 1,000 students from Penrose, Laura Wheeler Waring, Stephen Girard, and Spring Garden elementary schools had the chance to pick out free, brand-new winter coats, thanks to the Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation.
One in six children in the Philadelphia area lives in poverty, according to the foundation. So for the 12th year, it hosted its Driving Away the Cold program to ensure kids have this daily essential ahead of winter.
The kids were elated to to dive in and pick out a new coat in their favorite colors.
Kevin Mazzucola, executive director of the foundation, said this is one of many events they hold that benefit children in need.
“We produce the Philadelphia Auto Show that everybody loves to go to. We do a lot of other things, but this is my favorite day,” he said. “To be able to give these kids a warm, brand-new winter coat — warmth should not be a luxury, it should be a staple, and it’s cool to give warmth.”
Mazzucola noted the the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia plays a big role in the effort: It donates $2 from every Philadelphia Auto Show ticket to the foundation to help buy the coats.
The program will distribute a record 52,700 coats this month to kids throughout the region, which are collected or fundraised by 170 auto dealers across the five-county area.