Coat Angels was born in 2006 when a group of friends decided that, rather than buy each other holiday gifts, they would use their funds to help those in need. A teacher the friends knew requested that they buy coats for kids in her fifth-grade classroom, many of whom were coming to school in little more than sweatshirts on cold Chicago days.
That first year, through family and friends, the group raised enough money to buy new coats, sweaters, hats and gloves for all the fifth grade kids in need at the Gallistel Academy. The following year, Coat Angels raised enough money to cover the entire three-building Gallistel campus.
Since then, Coat Angels has helped over 4,000 children—still just a fraction of those that need our help. But we continue to grow our base of Coat Angels. The generous individuals and businesses who are our donors and volunteers move ever closer to ensuring no child in Chicago goes to school cold.
When you see firsthand what it means to these kids to have something new, something of their own, something picked out just for them, it's easy to understand. Yes, a used coat meets the huge need for warmth. But a new coat also gives these kids a sense of worth. Of being worth our time and thought. They prize and cherish these coats and wear them with pride. The coats and fleeces we buy often cover clothes that are threadbare, stained and the wrong size.