EAST NORRITON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In its ninth year, new vehicle dealers in the five-county Philadelphia area will donate a record number of 45,070 free new coats to less fortunate children this fall through its Driving Away the Cold program, a philanthropic initiative of the Philadelphia Auto Show and the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation. The Foundation’s largest distribution event, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Tuesday, Oct. 18, will give more than 7,300 new coats to elementary students in the School District of Philadelphia.
The Driving Away the Cold program ensures that as many children as possible have a warm coat for the harsh winter weather and frigid temperatures. “It’s staggering to think that one in six children in the five-county area of Philadelphia live in poverty. This equates to more than 174,000 children,” said Don Franks of JL Freed Honda and president of the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation.
By federal standards, poverty is defined as a family of four living on an annual income below $24,250. The Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation and the Association’s dealer members are committed to helping local children by providing brand new winter coats to kids who need them most. A new coat makes it easier for them to get to school every day for learning and in some cases, the only two hot meals they have that day.
Developed in January 2008 by the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation, the Driving Away the Cold program is a philanthropic initiative with one important mission: to provide new winter coats to underprivileged children living in the five-county region of Philadelphia. During a special month-long program in September, participating dealers pledge a new coat each time a vehicle is sold at their dealerships. Additionally, a portion of Philadelphia Auto Show ticket sales is donated to the Foundation to purchase coats. The coats are purchased specifically for children.
“Driving Away the Cold has united 175 new automobile dealers to give away more than 45,000 brand-new coats to local boys and girls, many of whom lack daily essentials such as a warm winter coat,” said Kevin Mazzucola, executive director of the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation. “Our local dealers are dedicated to this initiative. Their generosity and enthusiasm over the past eight years has enabled the program to thrive.” New winter coats will be distributed through more than 125 different social services agencies, shelters, after-school programs, regional YMCAs, and more. These non-profit partners identify the children who will benefit most from this gift and distribute the coats in a responsible manner. This year’s contribution brings the cumulative total to 265,252 new coats given to children in the five-county Philadelphia region since 2008.
About the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation
The Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Auto Show. Established in 2003, the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, supports worthwhile child-related initiatives throughout the Greater Philadelphia five-county region including its signature programs, the Black Tie Tailgate, Tech Comp and Driving Away the Cold. Its mission is to enhance and enrich the lives of children and youth in the communities in which its Dealer Members work and live. For more information, please visit caringforkids.com.