Doyle and Ogden
April finalist

It is so much more than a coat!

601 Votes
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Voting starts April 1, 2024.

Coats for Kids partners with schools throughout West Michigan to provide brand-new warm winter coats to local elementary school children in need.

In 2009, Doyle & Ogden, Inc. – in partnership with the Del J. & Jean B. Doyle Family Foundation – started a Coats for Kids program, after some agency employees heard about a local elementary school where many children did not have winter coats. Severe winters in Michigan make it critical for children who walk to school or play at recess to have protection from the cold.

 

Raising funds and delivering coats

For 15 years, Doyle & Ogden Inc. have held internal fundraisers within the agency to raise money, through avenues like pancake breakfasts, bake sales, raffles and more. 100% of donated funds are used to purchase coats. Staff members regularly donate their own time to find ways to stretch the funds, such as scoping out Black Friday and end-of-season sales. Some agency employees have even gone above and beyond by knitting scarves and hats for each coat donated.

“The staff members at each school are such an important part of this effort. They know their students, determine who has the greatest need and help with the distribution of these warm winter coats to each child. We couldn’t do it without them!”

—Mike Doyle, president of Doyle & Ogden, Inc.

Every October, the agency contacts their partner schools to find out how many coats are needed, as well as the appropriate sizes. Each is tagged with a student’s name and held in the agency’s storage suite until everything is ready for delivery. If even only one child needs a coat, an agency employee will drive to the school and deliver it themselves that day.

 

It takes a village

Providing children with winter necessities is a great cause, so it’s no surprise that numerous other businesses have been enthusiastic about helping Doyle & Ogden, Inc. with their endeavors. Local retailers let the agency know about big sales, making it easier for Doyle & Ogden, Inc. to stretch every dollar and purchase as many high-quality coats as possible.

Similarly, dry cleaning companies have donated clear dry cleaner bags, ensuring that the quality of each coat is preserved until it is delivered to a child in need. Doyle & Ogden, Inc. have also partnered with some of the insurance companies they represent to raise funds even further for the cause.

“Just seeing the kids’ faces beam as they get their new coats is a blessing. We are so thankful for this program and their commitment to keeping our students suited for our winter months.”

—Bianca Edwards, executive assistant to the superintendent at Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center

Of course, the biggest contributors beyond the agency are those who work at the schools. “The staff members at each school are such an important part of this effort,” said Mike Doyle, owner and president of Doyle & Ogden, Inc. “They know their students, determine who has the greatest need and help with the distribution of these warm winter coats to each child. We couldn’t do it without them!”

 

Expanding the effort

When the program began in 2009, the agency delivered 50 coats to students in need. Every year since then, they’ve increased that number; they’ve even expanded their reach to more and more schools where they know these coats are needed. In 2013, after beginning to solicit donations from outside of the agency, they were able to give away over 300 coats.

Amazingly, as the program has continued to increase in size, the agency was able to deliver over 1,200 coats in both 2022 and 2023. Knowing that there’s always more need from schoolchildren throughout the region, Doyle & Ogden, Inc. is always looking for ways to continue and enhance the program.

“Before this partnership, trying to find warm coats for our students who couldn’t purchase any required assistance from various organizations,” said Bianca Edwards, executive assistant to the superintendent at the Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center. “Doyle & Ogden have made it easy and reliable to request coats. Just seeing the kids’ faces beam as they get their new coats is a blessing. We are so thankful for this program and their commitment to keeping our students suited for our winter months.”

Help Doyle & Ogden, Inc. win $10,000 for Coats for Kids by clicking the vote button. Get them an extra vote by cheering them on in the comments below.

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Shannon Brady
6 days ago

What a great program

Tammie Lloyd
8 days ago

Thank you for all you do, I am so proud to be a part of the D&O family! Making a difference in a life of others is what it is all about!

Brian Lloyd
8 days ago

Thank you D&O for all you do to make a difference in a child’s life.

Lynn
8 days ago

Thank you for all you do!

Sandi Matusak
9 days ago

Thank you Doyle & Ogden for doing this wonderful fund raiser to help out the families that may go without if it wasn’t for your kindness and hard work. Thank you Doyle and Ogden and staff.❤️

Tamara Scott
9 days ago

Thank you, Doyle & Ogden, for making a significant difference in the lives of children!

Dr. Arnetta Thompson
10 days ago

Keep up the good work Doyle & Ogden! Thank you for being our partner!!

Jessica Greene
10 days ago

What an amazing organization! Thanks for all your hard work!

Cecile Wooden
10 days ago

Gods work in real time!!
Way to go D & O!!!

Tina Mortensen
10 days ago

So proud to partner with an amazing organization that gives back to the community.

The Carlson- Helmick Family
10 days ago

A great organization and a great cause. A perfect pairing!

Dan Sonkowsky
10 days ago

Love the support for your community, and helping children get a basic necessity so many of us take for granted.

Stacey Mitchell
10 days ago

Thank you Doyle & Ogden for supporting such a wonderful organization and supporting your community!

Dawn Bennett
10 days ago

What a great organization! No child should have to go without necessities like a winter coat.

Tina Leazier
11 days ago

We are so thankful to be awarded these funds from Safeco for our Coats for Kids program. This will allow us to sustain our partnerships with local elementary schools and keep kids warm again this next winter!

Deb Bissell
11 days ago

Love this story and what you’re doing for young kids within your community at local schools. Keep up the great work!

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