The Gift of Warmth: Child Care of Southwest Florida receives 120 ‘Coats for Kids’ from Knights of Columbus

More than 120 children at four Child Care of Southwest Florida early learning centers received new zip-up hoodies to stay warm this year, thanks to a donation from Knights of Columbus Council 2596 at St. Francis Xavier, a Catholic fraternal service organization in Fort Myers.

The donation is part of the Knights’ national program, Coats for Kids, that ensures children in need are provided with a vital necessity during the colder months. Each year, Council 2596 partners with a local organization to provide warmth for the community’s youngest members. Including this year’s donation, the council estimates it has provided more than 1,000 donated coats to local children over the past decade.

Just in time for colder weather, boxes of new zip-up hoodies were delivered to four early learning centers managed by Child Care of Southwest Florida: the Community Children’s Center, P.A. Geraci Child Development Center, Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center and Children’s Garden of LaBelle. Directors at each center determined which children were most in need, and Council 2596 members visited early learning centers on Jan. 19 to distribute the jackets to boys and girls from 6 months to 5 years old.

“We are immensely grateful to the Knights of Columbus at St. Francis Xavier for their kind-hearted donation,” said Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida. “Their Coats for Kids program not only brings warmth to our children, but also hope and support to our families during challenging times.”

Since the Knights’ national program was launched in 2009, Coats for Kids has provided warm winter coats to more than a million children across the U.S. and Canada.

About Child Care of Southwest Florida

Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. (CCSWFL) is a nonprofit early childhood education provider with five learning centers in Lee and Hendry counties that serve more than 350 children from 6 weeks to 8 years old. A United Way Partner Agency, CCSWFL’s mission is to strengthen and enhance the lives of children, as well as their families. Each center is accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and is recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. All five CCSWFL locations have five-star ratings through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. CCSWFL follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum, with a goal of creating safe, nurturing learning environments that develop young minds, support families, strengthen the community and secure the future. Through its participation in the USDA’s Child Food Care Program, each child has access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks. Sponsor, volunteer and donation opportunities are available. For more information, please visit
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.