Believing in Forever, Inc. collects coats for Central, Eastern Kentucky youth

Saturday, Believing in Forever, Inc. held its eighth annual "Coat to Keep the Cold Away Coat Drive" at Macy's in Fayette Mall.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s the season of giving, and one organization is making sure kids stay warm this winter.

Every year, Devine Carama’s youth organization, Believing in Forever, Inc., receives requests for winter coats.

“We know kids love toys, but every kid deserves a coat and so that’s why we chose this as our particular ministry during the holidays,” said Carama.

According to Carama, about 3,000 kids in Central and Eastern Kentucky requested coats from the organization this year. About 80 percent of those requests come through the public school systems, but some requests are from parents and caregivers themselves.

“We’ll honor those requests and then whatever we have left over, we’re going to donate those to more children so we’re trying to get as many as we can get,” said Carama.

Saturday, Believing in Forever, Inc. held its eighth annual Coat to Keep the Cold Away Coat Drive at Macy’s in Fayette Mall to help with fulfilling those requests.

With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing the organization from holding the coat drive at Macy’s last year, Carama says it’s special to be back.

“It feels touch and see the people and be able to have a conversation telling them about what we’re doing,” said Carama.

Macy’s also donated $8,000 to Believing in Forever. Over the past three years, not including this year’s donation, Macy’s has donated over $11,000 to the organization.

“People have to wait in inclement weather–bus stops–and maybe for long periods of time. And there are people who still walk to school. And knowing we can provide that means a lot,” said Macy’s Corporate Sales employee Jennifer Maggard.

Carama says giving a child in need a coat can make a lasting impact.

“I know it seems simple and just seems like a coat, but that coat can be so much more than jsut a physical item to some of these families who have lost loved ones due to gun violence or the pandemic. So it’s so much more than a coat. It’s a message that we’re sending to those who are in need,” said Carama.

Coat donations to Believing in Forever will be accepted throughout the week of December 5 to 12. The coats will be distributed to kids at their schools the week before their school’s winter break, Carama says.

According to Jennifer Maggard, Believing in Forever collected 150 coats on Saturday. 61 of those were given by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

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