KARM's Coats For The Cold Gives Shelter From The Weather

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Knoxville (WVLT) - For more than two decades, they have been helping hand to those suffering from an age-old problem.

On Saturday, the Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries made its annual call for old coats, all of which will help the less fortunate who need just a little bit more compassion during the winter.

In fact, KARM's efforts left one family grateful and a daughter overwhelmed.

The coats can be seen as kindness wrapped like a perfect fit.

There were more than 7,000 items filling the room at KARM's "Coat's For the Cold" event which served as the perfect compliment to warm hearts working to protect people from the chilly weather.

Caitlin Martin, who received a coat, marveled at the amount of donations.

"There's too many of them, there are probably like a hundred racks here," said Martin.

According to organizers, the holiday's and the weather make it the most important time of the year to be charitable.

"There is a huge need in this area," said Mary Beth Ramey of KARM. "Coats can be expensive and for families who are living on a limited income, they can't afford to buy a coat."

Colder temperatures mean the need is now, a reason why Caitlin and her mother Renee showed up.

"Things are hard," said Renee, "so we have to do what we have got to do to get help for her and to get her warm for school."

And while many people searched for an escape from the weather, Caitlin finally discovered her own.

"We'll be warmer, trust me," Renee said. "She was complaining cause this week alone she had to wait up at the bus stop and she was freezing to death."

She will be one of the many that the community donations help shield from the winter's wrath.

"Lot's of people need coats and they don't have any," said Caitlin, "so I think they deserve it."

There were 90 KARM volunteers on hand; truly exhibiting the spirit that Tennessee is famous for.

"To know that I've helped somebody have a warmer day, or fed them a meal, or given them a place to stay for the night, there's just no better feeling in the world," said Rhonda Holloway, a KARM volunteer for the past three years.

This year, KARM added an additional distribution location off Clinton Highway to help ease any transportation issues that some potential recipients may have had.

WVLT is a proud sponsor of the event.

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