Ever since the Kidz Coatz project took off in 2007, Hazleton Rotary has continued the work and effort put into purchasing and delivering winter coats to area children.
Even though most of the Greater Hazleton Area children are not able to attend school now, Donna Barna, Hazleton Rotary President, was bound and determined that those in need would receive these winter garments.
“The pandemic doesn’t change the fact that we still have area youngsters who need warm coats” says Barna.  “So, we had to improvise, but I’m happy to say we were able to complete the project this week.”
Working with local retailers, primarily Boscov’s, brand new coats were purchased for children in need from all elementary/middle schools in the Hazleton Area School District.
Social distancing did not permit the usual grouping of Rotarians to sort and pack the coats, but Donna and her mother, Ethel Dougherty, did that part of the preparation and the following Rotarians, taking Santa’s place,  delivered the coats to local schools: Stephen Seach, Kim McNulty, Lani Drobnock, Mary Malone, Tim Genetti and Dave Haupt & Wife Mary Ann.
Because of the economy, the number of children needing warm coats continues annually.  Last year,  Hazleton Rotary  provided over 400 coats for area children, and this winter season more than 400 coats will be given to keep area children warm.
Coats were delivered to Hazle Township Early Learning Center, Arthur Street, Drums,  Heights Terrace, West Hazleton, Freeland, McAdoo Kelayres, Maple Manor. Valley Elementary and The Castle
“Hazleton Rotary is very pleased to be able to provide this service to the community again and we hope to be able to continue to do so yearly.  It does truly make you feel good to know we will be helping children keep warm during the upcoming winter.” comments President Elect Jason Brenner.