Decatur - Wednesday marked the start of the 21st Annual Dove Coats for Kids drive.
Dove's director of community relation, Barb Blakey, told WAND News the number of kids in need is higher than ever.
"There is a great need and if you can imagine, waiting for the buses, walking to school, playing outside at recess. The light jackets just won't cut it in central Illinois. We need nice warm coats for these kids," said Blakey.
For parents like Angela Douglas, the coats will help keep her children warm this winter.
"It was truly a blessing. People can always use coats. It's cold and people always outgrow things. Someone could always use those things if their not using them," said Douglas.
While last year's winter may have been mildly warm, that doesn't mean mother nature couldn't provide a colder winter this year. With a cold winter being a realistic possibility this year, Decatur kids in need will need donated coats to stay warm.
However, as coats come in, they go just as fast according to the Northeast Community Fund's director.
"Things come in and out here almost as fast. They go out almost as fast as they come in," said Jerry Pelz.
With winter still a couple months away people still have plenty of time to donate coats this fall.