By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Four Mississippi Knights of Columbus councils participated in the National Coats for Kids program this year, donating more than 70 coats to Catholic Charities’ shelters for battered women. Members of the councils from Flowood, Gluckstadt, Madison and Pearl delivered six cases of coats to Arteria Puckett, the shelter director, at Catholic Charities’ downtown Jackson headquarters on Friday, Dec. 12.
Philip Jabor, Chris Sigler, Tunney Vandevender and Tony Kumor brought some samples up to the office and then helped Puckett load the cases into her vehicle so she could deliver the coats to children in both the Jackson and Natchez shelters, which are usually full at this time of year. “This is perfect. We had a little boy in the Jackson shelter last night ask for a coat, so this couldn’t come at a better time,” said Puckett.
The Knights of Columbus work with a manufacturer on a national level to make the coats available at discount rates. Each case of 12 fleece-lined, puffer coats in blue and pink costs $220 and contains a variety of sizes. Last year was a record-breaking year for the program nationally.
“We usually try to find out how many coats Catholic Charities needs and then ask each council who is willing to sponsor as many cases as they can,” said Jabor, the state treasurer who has organized the drive for the past few years.
“We really appreciate these coats. Even if we don’t give them all out right now, we now have enough to last most of the winter season and that’s a good feeling,” said Puckett.