The Salvation Army gets surprise cash gift for coat drive

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WICHITA, Kan. This time of year there are a lot of organizations working to make sure people and families stay warm and do not go hungry. The Salvation Army in Wichita is trying to do both, but saw greater demand this year than it had supply.

Since Kansas winterscan be downright cold, a heavy coat is a must. The reality is, not everyone has one. That's why, every year, The Salvation Army in Wichita does a coat drive.

Silvia Easter went there looking for a coat for her and her family.

"If it wasn't for all of them, we may well be without food and without clothing and nothing, so thank you very much," said Easter.

Major Joseph Wheeler with the Salvation Army says this year coat donations were down, but more people were in need.

"We're concerned for those who are in our community who need the protection of the warmth," said Wheeler.

But before their coat drive was over, they ran out of larger coats and coats for children.

That's why Eyewitness News and DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers decided to lend her a Helping Hand and give Major Wheeler $1,200 to go toward their coat drive.

"Oh, wow," said Major Wheeler, visibly surprised. "That is absolutely amazing. We are so grateful. The partners in Wichita absolutely amaze me and thrill me because they enable us to do things that we couldn't normally do on our own. Thank you so much. What a nice surprise."

The Salvation Army was able to get the money in enough time to buy the needed coats before their drive ended.

"Thanks for the great work you do in our community," said Richard James with DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers.

"We couldn't do it without partners like you and the impact it has on people's lives are immeasurable, so thank you for making a difference for Wichitans," said Major Wheeler.