Karen and Tom had experience with charitable fundraising as a result of founding “Carns’s Coats for Kids” several years prior to this. In the fall of 1991, Tom received an unexpected bonus from work. He and Karen saw this as an opportunity to teach their children about the true meaning of Christmas.
Using this bonus, the family purchased new coats for the Saint Vincent DePaul Society to distribute. The children selected coats for other children who wore their same size, personalizing this giving experience. This was a quiet annual family event until 1998 when the Cincinnati Enquirer ran an article about the family’s project. At that point more people wanted to contribute to the coat fund and it became known as “Carns’s Coats for Kids.”
From this small beginning, “Carns’s Coats” has now purchased over 3,900 new children’s coats that have been distributed through the Saint Vincent DePaul Society and 12 other charities and agencies. The Carns’s Coats for Kids program recently joined forces with former Cincinnati Bengal Doug Pelfrey’s Kicks for Kids Foundation and provides new coats for the children sponsored by his good work.
In 2002, the Carns’s Coats for Kids program merged with McNicholas’ Coat Drive.
In 2004, the Carns’s Coats for Kids program will go NATIONAL! More details to come!