DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The annual Coats for Kids Drive in underway in Decatur.

WAND News, Dove Inc., Smitt's Welding & Mechanical, Vieweg Real Estate and SA Lewis Construction teamed up to collect winter coats for kids.

For the past 30 years, the annual drive has collected more than 80,000 coats for local clothing rooms. Barb Blakey said it takes great volunteers and a giving community to make a drive like this happen each year.

"Of all things you can't solve in the world, this was one thing we thought if we brought attention to that we could make this happen," Blakey said. 

Gently-used coats can be dropped off at various locations throughout Decatur. Once in the bin, volunteers collect them and take them to participating cleaners to have them cleaned and ready for a kid to wear.

"I've been doing this for 11 years now," said Keisha Conley, manager of the Pride Cleaners West Eldorado location. "We enjoy being able to wash the coats and get the cleaned for people actually in need of them."

Organizers said they are looking for all sizes of coats, but each year they see a demand for coats for kids aged 3rd through 5th grade.

The coat collection is starts Oct. 13 and end Nov. 30. Coats can be dropped off at the Decatur Family Y.M.C.A at 220 W. McKinley, the Decatur Public Library, Brettwood Plaza Kroger, Airport Plaza Kroger, Lincoln Land Credit Union on N. Oakland, Lincoln Credit Union on E. Mound, Lincoln Credit Union on E. Prosperity Place, Long Creek Township, Richland Community College, St. Teresa High School and the WAND station.

Participating cleaners include Peerless on N. Monroe, Pride Cleaners and Launderers on N. Main, Pride Cleaners and Launderers on E. Eldorado, Pride Cleaners and Launderers on W. Eldorado, Pride Cleaners and Launderers on Mt. Zion Road, Waite's Dry Cleaners and Launderers on S. Main and Waite's Dry Cleaner and Launderers on Magnolia in Forsyth.

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