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There were more than 550 children, men and women who found coats to stay warm at TrueNorth Community Services’ Coats for Kids (& Adults) Distribution on Saturday.

People were nearly non-stop in getting winter apparel through Coats for Kids (& Adults) at the TrueNorth Service Center in Fremont.

The Coats for Kids (& Adults) program is focused on making sure “everyone in Newaygo County can keep warm this winter,” said Mike Voyt, Volunteer & Special Projects Coordinator for TrueNorth.

The participants included people like Rebekkah Kortman and Brandon Perales.

Kortman, of Newaygo, brought her 12-year-old daughter and three sons, ages 10, 8 and 6, to Coats for Kids (& Adults). Her family just moved back in August to Michigan from Mexico.

“I found something for everyone. Well, except for me. That’s just how it always goes,” she said. “It was a big blessing for me to find I could do this, and see I could get winter stuff here.”

Her youngest son, Zander, was especially excited. He had an ear-to-ear grin bundled up in his new coat and scarf.

Perales, of White Cloud, had his four sons, ages 14, 13, 11 and 2, with him.

With growing boys, “it can get expensive,” he said. “It’s good to be here. … This helps us out.”

There were people waiting nearly 1½ hours before the event’s start. The temperature was 19 degrees with a 5 degree wind chill at nearby Fremont Municipal Airport, according to the National Weather Service’s Grand Rapids office.

There were about 50 more people getting coats from Coats for Kids (& Adults) Distribution Saturday than on the day of the event in 2017, Voyt said. Last year, nearly 840 people eventually got coats through the program.

About two dozen volunteers were at the three-hour distribution Saturday, Voyt said. There were also a few dozen more volunteers helping with set up and the month-long Coats for Kids (& Adults) Collection.

The coats distributed came from 41 collection locations across Newaygo County in Fremont, Grant, Hesperia, Newaygo, and White Cloud; and from donations through Burlington’s Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Coats Drive. Some were also purchased through monetary contributions from Fremont Area Community Foundation, The Gerber Foundation and individuals, families and groups from greater Newaygo County.

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