State Coats for Kids Event

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 12/24/2017 Under: Youth (564 Hits)    

The Michigan State Council Knights of Columbus, combing efforts with the Detroit Lions Alumni Association and the Knights of the Archdiocese were able to provide new warm winter coats in two locations through the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids Program this fall. “What a better gift for Christmas than the gift of warmth, a new winter coat for a child in need?”, pretty much summarizes the reason for this program from State Youth Activities Director Kevin Rowley.

State Deputy Ken Unterbrink had these comments; In both the Black Friday and Pontiac Coats for Kids, the K of C volunteers that attended, the State Officers, the District Deputies, the Directors, the Grand Knights and the council members and their families, there to help the children pick out new coats and help put the coats on the children.  The children and our family of brother knights working together for a better future.  This was a great example of community. 

Pontiac C4K 1  A big thank you to the former NFL Detroit Lions players, Tom Nowatzke, Lomas Brown, George Jamison and their friends for helping with the children.  And, of course State Youth Director Kevin Rowley for coordinating the distribution of the 1800 coats. 

Former players Tom Nowatzke, Lomas Brown, George Jamison attended the event in Pontiac on December 16th helping children find a coat to fit and take home.

 Pontiac C4K 2

All the players felt that this program filled a need and loved helping out, to give back to the community. Mr. Nowatzke remarked that even though he played in an era when the salaries were much lower he felt the need to give back to the community. “This is what it’s all about” said Mr. Brown “look at the smiles on these kids faces.” Lomas who through his Lomas Brown Foundation has many opportunities to give back had a lot of fun helping out at the two events. Mr. Jamison was impressed at the number of coats the Knights could provide and felt honored to be invited to the event changing his Saturday plans so he could attend. “These are type of programs communities need” he stated. 

Pontiac K4K 3

One of the Moms that outfitted several of her kids commented that this was a God send, she saved at least $300.00 and now would have some money for Christmas presents.


KC Archdiocese Membership Director Dan Fuller had these observations; "This event was very inspiring, to see these families coming to St Damien of Molokai’s Parish hall to receive coats.  Seeing the volunteers from the Detroit Loins Alumni help kids pick out coats and all the volunteers from the Knights of Columbus and their families leading each family through to process of choosing the right coat for their child".  

"Our youngest volunteer was 6 year old Nathan Morgan working with his Dad Scott Morgan of Council 2940. The most senior was 93 year old Brother Knight Major Kelly of Council 13930.  These 56 volunteers greeted each family and served over 500 people, helping 400 children pick out a warm coat."  

The Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program, which allows Local & State councils across North America the opportunity to purchase new winter coats for children at a discount and to distribute them to children in need in their local communities at no cost to the recipient. Through our Coats for Kids program, 1,780 local councils distributed 87,906 coats to children in need throughout the United States and Canada in 2016.

After the distribution at St Damien of Molokai there were an estimated 180 coats remaining from the initial 1880.  These remaining coats were taken to Sandusky and Paw Paw Michigan for distribution by K of C Councils in those areas.  

This year our Knights in Michigan have distributed nearly 4,000 coats during local council and State council directed programs.

For more info. call; Kevin Rowley Knights of Columbus Youth Activities Director 586-596-8649.