More than 230,000 children have been protected from cold winter weather as a result of a 19-year effort by KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, N.M. The station’s "KOATS for Kids" project has reached needy children throughout New Mexico. Each year, the station partners with a local cleaner and the New Mexico Army National Guard to ensure donated coats are cleaned and transported across the state. In 2007, the station ran 750 promotional announcements and distributed informational posters about the program. In addition, newscasts throughout December helped direct viewers to drop-off points and provided a toll-free number for assistance with donating or receiving a coat. "On behalf of our students and parents, I would like to sincerely thank you for your assistance in providing winter jackets to some of our wonderful children," wrote Dr. Patricia Rael, superintendent of Belen Consolidated Schools, in a letter to the station. "You all truly reflect and have advanced the spirit of caring that the ‘KOATS for Kids’ program has come to represent."
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