Kentucky schools pull together to collect coats for eastern Kentucky students

Kentucky schools pull together to collect coats for eastern Kentucky students
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 3:21 PM EST
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - For flood victims in eastern Kentucky, there are still so many needs to be met, but one organization is doing its part to meet the most basic need, providing warmth to students this winter.

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators is leading a coat drive for flood victims. They put out the call to districts across the state for donations and even received a major gift from a well-known Kentucky native, but they still could use your help as we approach the holidays.

When historic flooding hit this summer in eastern Kentucky, it was hard to think about what winter would bring for those impacted, but now it’s upon us.

“It just spoke to my heart when one of our eastern Kentucky superintendents was like, nobody is thinking about that, and if we have money for coats, then we can focus on food. So, you are not talking about fancy needs. You are talking about your basic survival needs,” said Jenny Lynn Hatter, Chief Academic Officer, Harrison Co. Schools.

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators wants to provide through their coat drive. It put out a call to districts across the state to try and collect a new coat for children and staff in 30 schools across flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky.

KASA Executive Director Rhonda Caldwell knows it is a tall order ahead of the holidays.

“If we put math to the numbers, 5,700 children directly impacted by the flood, not counting the adults. If you average on a $40 a coat per basis, it’s about $226,000,” said Dr. Rhonda Caldwell.

Schools, though, know how to solve a good math problem and Caldwell says they leaned into harnessing the power of school administrators like Jenny Lynn Hatter in Harrison Co. and the students there.

“Immediately, our little Jr. Beta Club said we can do hats and scarves, and so kids are great, kids are resilient, and they have ideas we have never thought of,” said Hatter.

The donations of coats and hoodies have been coming in from districts all over.

“When we have a crisis, a flood, a tornado, when we have something tragic or something good, we always look to our schools,” said Caldwell.

Through a partnership with the Bluegrass Community Foundation, Kentucky native Chris Stapleton and his Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund sent in $100,000, a huge boost to an effort ahead of the holidays to provide the gift of warmth.

“To think that we are going to be able to serve these needs in so many different ways, and there is still a need, and it still can be met, and I think it’s part Christmas magic, it really is,” said Hatter.

KASA says this coat drive was inspired by the Letcher County Superintendent, who says getting items like coats donated allows them to focus on other essential items for their students.

There are several ways you can donate to this coat drive.

For a list of coat donation drop-off locations, click here.

To Donate:

  • PayPal:
  • Check: Make payable to: The Center for Education Leadership
  • Venmo: KY Assn of School Admin and mail to 87 C. Michael Davenport Blvd.,
  • Credit Card: Call KASA at (800) 928-5272 Frankfort, KY 40601

Contact Amy Moore ( for assistance with donations or call the KASA office at (800) 928-5272.