EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the season of giving, and with the cold temperatures here to stay; families across our region now have a jacket to grab.

Organizing coats, dozens of them, all donated by the community, cleaned, and getting ready to be handed back out to those who need it most.

Officials like Major John Wheeler at the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army on Washington Street prepped for Monday’s coat distribution event. The chilly Monday morning made the timing excellent.

“This morning I had to scrape my windows before I could come down to the building, the first time this year and my first thought was, ‘Today’s the day, the kids need these coats now.’”

Major Wheeler has worked with 28/22 News’ “Coats for Kids” drive since its start last year. Explaining the impact it has on not just kids, but their families.

“The economy is really tough on people. It was already tough before for some people, this is even tougher and they have to make those hard choices. Do I feed my kids or do I get them the clothing that they need? We’re able to help fill that gap.”

Hundreds of coats were collected last month in the Poconos alone, with around 40 families already receiving jackets at its first distribution event.

“One kid in particular, little probably four or five years old, got this coat, put it on, snuggled up, and like danced all in happiness that they had a coat. That’s what the Salvation Army’s all about.”

Major John Wheeler

Now preparing for another coat giveaway, Major Wheeler says they’re expecting an even larger crowd with the cold temperature.

“Thanks to the generosity of the community, in addition to coats, families can also pick up hats, scarves, and mittens.”

The Coats for Kids distribution event is taking place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army on Monday.

If you aren’t able to stop by, Major Wheeler says families can reach out to them so they can continue to serve the community.