Coat drive in school district hits new record

A community effort to provide new winter coats, boots, caps and mittens to youth in need has reached a new record. The non-profit Forest Lake Area Children’s Fund, Inc. reported this week it provided 241 boots and 240 winter jackets during its November and December campaign. That’s an all-time high for the volunteer group and compares to the 196 coats and 193 boots that were distributed in 2010-2011. The organization relies on funding from donations and contributions from area businesses and school district employees. The program is anonymous and works in cooperation with teachers and administrators who help identify youth in need of warm winter clothing. Parental permission is also a part of the program.