Coats to be collected through November 11 and distributed November 14-December 2

The annual Knox Area Rescue Ministries “Coats for the Cold” coat drive to collect coats for those in need began Monday, October 16 and runs through Saturday, November 11. Gently used coats can be dropped off during that time at all KARM Store locations and all Prestige Cleaners locations in the Knoxville area. Knox Area Rescue Ministries, with the help of co-sponsors, the KARM Stores, WIVK-FM, WVLT-TV, and Prestige Cleaners, plans to gather several thousand coats donated through the generosity of the East Tennessee community during its four week coat drive. Only actual coats, not sweaters, sweatshirts, or other apparel, will be included in the drive.


Children’s coats for all ages and XXL adult-sized coats are especially needed. Once coats are collected, Coats donated through “Coats for the Cold” will be marked and available for distribution in a special area of each of 18 KARM Stores from Monday, November 13 – Saturday, December 2. Those wishing to receive a free coat will bring a coat voucher to shop for a coat at any KARM Stores location and present it a with the coat selection This process will provide more people far more time to shop for coats, and in locations more convenient to them. Coat vouchers will be distributed through several area social services agencies, schools, and churches. Those in need of coats are encouraged to contact local social services agencies and churches.

This marks the 32th anniversary of the event, which was begun through WIVK –FM after a news report that a homeless man had frozen to death on the Knoxville streets. To more about participating in the drive or volunteer to help with the drive, visit

“The Knoxville community always responds so generously to the “Coats for the Cold” drive,” said Burt Rosen, KARM President and CEO. “I’d like to thank both our sponsors and those who donate coats for helping to ensure that those in need will be able to face the cold temperatures this year with a warm winter coat.”

Knox Area Rescue Ministries, which is home to nearly 400 people each night and provides nearly 1,000 meals daily, has served the area as a Christian ministry since 1960. KARM is devoted to life restoration through rescue and building positive relationships, providing food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and healing for hurting people in our community. To learn more visit or call 865.673.6540.