Rob Harris

Keeping the momentum going

White Hat has received and cleaned more than 20,000 coats, mittens, pillows, sweaters, pants, and sleeping bags

White Hat Cleaners and the Salvation Army hope to build on the momentum of last year’s record-setting year of donations with the launch of the 17th annual Coats for Kids Campaign.

Since the campaign began in 1995, White Hat has received and cleaned more than 20,000 coats, mittens, pillows, sweaters, pants, and sleeping bags.

The items are then turned over to the Salvation Army which distributes the items to the needy through its Community and Family Services Program and Lighthouse Centre during the fall and winter months.

“One of the things I find very unique about this is, they (White Hat) clean all the things before donating them,” says Kevin Mack, Salvation Army Community Ministries Director. “And being on the giving end, people really appreciate that, to get something clean and looking almost brand-new.”

Rob Harris and his wife, Linda, co-owners of White Hat Cleaners, purchased their first dry cleaning company in 1994 and just one year later, decided they wanted to get involved with giving back to the community.

“When the Salvation Army needed help with gathering coats, blankets and such we jumped at the chance to help,” said Harris in a press release. “It’s been a great partnership and the support from our customers and the community is overwhelming with the number and quality of garments.”

Gently used coats, blankets, gloves, and toques for both children and adults can be dropped off at White Hat Cleaners, located at 601 11th Ave. Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  All the items will be cleaned by Harris and his crew then delivered to the Salvation Army, which has been able to help several people in the community.

“We are very grateful to Rob and his team at White Hat and the community at large for their support over the years,” Mack said. “It’s also such a nice bonus that they professionally clean all the donations free of charge.”

Harris said a few coats have already started to come in, but he’s expecting donations to pick up as the weather changes and people start to dig out their old winter coats.