About 514 people can cozy up with a new coat this winter thanks to the Castro Valley Mother's Club (CVMC) and a few local students.
Although it's a national coat drive program, EBCLC serves local, low-income families. It plans to present the coats directly to its clients this Friday during the annual holiday party.
"It's really awesome because then you know everyone gets a coat and they'll be warmer," said 8-year-old Sage Galordi, one of several kids who helped with the coat drive.
"It gives people a coat for Christmas who usually wouldn't get anything," said her 10-year-old friend .
Both girls, who are students at , helped spread the word among their classmates and teachers about the coat drive. They also received coats from the school's lost-and-found collection box.
On Monday, Dec. 12, the students the CVMC sorted and counted the coats. The moms said they really enjoyed getting their kids involved.
"It's an easy project for the kids to do but is also rewarding," said Kim Neto. "You take having a coat for granted but there are kids without them."
Though the CVMC also hosted a toy drive around the same time, the mothers said coats are in high demand by most of the EBCLC families this year.
"Toys are great but the families are only asking for coats," said Susan Green. "It's a project anyone can participate in because everyone has a coat in their closet."
Green delivered one of three car loads of garbage bags filled with coats to EBCLC.
Many of the mothers agreed that fellow mom and organizer Brenda Roberts, who spearheaded the whole project this year, was responsible for their success of collecting five times as many coats as they did last year.
"Brenda helped really expand [the coat drive] further this year," said Mother's Club member Kendra Frautnick. "She contacted the head of neighborhood groups and took it to the next level."
Roberts even helped find a new designated coat drop-off site for the community when CVMC was turned down by in Castro Valley. The store manager told the club it needed to get permission from the grocery store's corporate office to use the site agian this year.
Before they could even hear back from corporate, Jasmine Clemmons, owner of on Castro Valley Boulevard stepped in to help. She offerered to have her store be the designated coat drop-off site for the community. Other drop-off sites included neighboring businesses and several schools.