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Free winter coats and clothes.

Free winter clothing items, including coats, boots, hats, blankets, and more is available from a number of agencies. Charities including the Salvation Army provide clothes or coats, there are vouchers from thrift stores, churches, and clothing closets near you. All of those non-profit organizations and others may provide free supplies, jackets and winter clothing items for less fortunate families.

Most of the assistance is for children from struggling households or very low income adults. There may also be free winter attire for senior citizens or the sick/disabled. Many of the charities due have an application process, but they will try to provide clothes for anyone in need during the fall, winter, or spring months.

In addition to passing out free clothing items, there may be other winter supplies near you too. This may be blankets, free space heaters, shovels, and even applications to government financial aid, namely LIHEAP grants to pay heating bills. The goal of the various charitable organizations is to provide clothing and whatever else is needed to keep a family warm and healthy during the colder winter months.

Charities and non-profits near you that have free winter clothing programs

Much of what is provided is combined with other social services. Or they are combined with other assistance arrange. Such as free clothes for winter months may come from clothing banks or non-food pantries. Or a thrift store may offer support too.

Operation Warm is a non-profit that operates in over 45 states. Note they are involved in collecting, new unused winter coats, hats as well as gloves from the community. They do not distribute the gear directly to families. Instead the agency partners with others who provide help. Only children from lower income homes can benefit from their programs, and the agency operates from October to March. They recommend contacting some or all of the following charities to apply.

  • Local Rotary Clubs as well as Firefighters often work closely with Operation Warm, and over 230 are in the network.
  • Churches and faith based groups often given free coats as well.
  • School systems are often part of the assistance program network as well, and they may give outwinter  jackets and other goods to kids at no cost too them.




Any low to moderate income family, or one in poverty, who needs a new coat should inquire into Operation Warm. As a school about the service, or check with a local church or even Department of Social Service Office. Many groups are aware of their service, and can direct the individual to a free coat or winter gear drive in their community. The Operation Warm main number is 1-800-730-9276.

Salvation army Worship and Service centers also tend to run Coats for Kid drives. Not only will free winter clothing be given out (gloves, hats, boots, etc.) but they also screen applicants for other financial assistance programs. Not the clothing will only be available in limited supplies, as the items go quickly. Even if the centers are out of resources, families can still shop at a low cost thrift store, which most of the Salvation Army locations have on site. This provides the client the ability to get many more items for their home too. Find Salvation Army center near you.

The United Way also partners with agencies all across the country to keep families warm. They organize coat drives near you, but do not accept applications themselves or pass out items. But the United Way can be a source of information on where the elderly can get help, where a local free Coat or Jacket Drive is held in a community, and even such resources as cold weather shelters for the homeless. Call a referral line in your community (211) for more details on these winter clothing programs. Or find a list of national charity organizations.

Senior citizens have non-profits that focus just on their needs. Area Agency on Aging centers often offer free winter clothes for the elderly, their spouses, and people over the age of 55. Some clients can get free coats while other locations only have gently used supplies. Or it can be a combination; such as a used jacket with new snow boots.





Charities often operate free clothing distribution centers. They can be called “closets” or “banks”, or a combination of the two. They tend to be available where other resources are offered near you, such as a food pantry. Therefore working poor families may not only get a free jacket, but also maybe a box of food or more.

One advantage of a clothing closet is they combine not only winter clothes, but there can be school supplies, uniforms for work, year round shoes, and many other articles of items. The variety of supplies can be extensive. There are thousands of locations across the country, and locate free clothes in your state or county. Many even provide household type supplies, such as detergent, cleaning goods, and more.

By Jon McNamara

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