WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Hundreds of kids will be able to stay warm this winter thanks to the generosity of complete strangers in Wilkes-Barre.
The mission this year: provide warm coats for kids in need.
The racks inside St. Aloysius Church in Wilkes-Barre were bursting with coats of all sizes, colors, and kinds.
The stockings were stuffed as well, ready to go home with children who need a little extra this holiday season.
"It's heartwarming to know the community is open to doing this and helping our program and all the kids who are in need of some winter attire," said Amanda Sivco, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bridge.
Before these youngsters could take home a new warm coat, thanks to donations to the Warm Coat for Kids program through the Back Mountain Police Association, it was party time, complete with pictures with Santa.
"It makes me feel really good, and all these children will have something warm for the winter time," said Marie Ludwig of Ashley.
Ludwig was all smiles, happy her grandson and other kids here could pick from more than 500 coats because as organizers explain, there's a big need out there for warmth and caring like this.
"People don't realize there are children who do not have warm clothes. We see it every year. Back Mountain Police Association is happy to provide it for them," said Ross Piazza, Back Mountain Police Association.
"We're super grateful the Back Mountain Police Association is doing this for us. We have a bunch of families here obviously in need of coats," Sivco said.
So as these families went through and picked out coats, these children don't just see the good will of others, they get to feel it, too.
"I'm very thankful for the people that have been donating it," said Xavier Drey of Pittston.
The Back Mountain Police Association collected 500 coats for needy kids this year.
This was the second year for the program. The plan is to do it again next year.