When the temperatures start to dip and blustery north winds blow, it's important for your health and well being to dress warmly.

The Athens Knights of Columbus Council members are helping youngsters who can't afford to bundle up through their Coats for Kids program.

“We did about 58 coats last year,” Grand Knight Bob Dietz said. “This year, we've taken delivery of 48 and ordered another 48. By the time we're done we'll have about 106 coats."

The coats will go to the Henderson County HELP Center, the Crisis Center and Love in Action to pass along to kids in need. They will consider helping other organizations if the coats are available.

"The lady from the HELP Center said the coats we gave them last year went in one day," Dietz said. "That, to me was a little shocking."

He said the Coats for Kids program involving Kiwanis clubs has provided hundreds of thousands of new winter coasts nationally.

"It's a national effort by the nights," Dietz said. "We have a buying center that buys the coats and through donations we buy boxes of coats from them and distribute them."

The goal is to make sure that no child goes through the winter without a suitable coat. With temperatures already falling below 30 degrees at times this season in the county, kids are already needing a warm coat for their health and well being.

Sir Knight Freddie Hancock and his coworkers at Red Dot raised significant funds for this program and were able to purchase coats.

Since the Knights of Columbus program was launched in 2009, more than 500,000 coats have been distributed in 49 states and the 10 Canadian provinces.

Last year, the Knights of Columbus distributed 105,192 coats in 1,600 communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including events at military bases, in Native American communities, at inner-city neighborhoods and through partnerships with local police and fire departments.

The Athens Knights of Columbus is based at St. Edward's Catholic Church on E. Tyler Street in Athens, Members are involved in many activities to help area children, with fundraisers such as the chicken dinner on Super Bowl Sunday and preparing corned beef and cabbage near St. Patrick's Day. Recently the Knights cooked breakfast for the Athens Hornets Football team at the church.

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