CSU College of Business’ Coats for Kids warms the heart

For a decade, the generous faculty and staff of CSU’s College of Business have been keeping Poudre School District students warm through the college’s Coats for Kids program.

“We have wonderful and generous people in the College of Business who have done amazing things for kids they don’t even know,” said Margaret Parks, an administrative assistant in the Department of Management.

Parks is the driving force behind the program that started when she first saw a “giving tree” for scarves and gloves during the holidays and thought it was important that children in need also have a proper winter coat to get them through Colorado’s snowy winters.

More than 160 coats donated

The first year garnered dozens of coats. This year over 160 coats were donated by College of Business faculty and staff.

“Every fall I meet with Patti Young, coordinator of School Counselors for Poudre School District, and she lets me know how many students need coats,” said Parks. “I then send out the message to the college faculty and staff about the number needed, and the response this year was overwhelming.”

Each year, the donations for Coats for Kids have grown, and so has the impact on the students’ lives.

Investing in student success

“Students are elated when they see and try on the new coats, and often can’t believe they can wear them out the door that day,” said Young. “The professors and staff in the College of Business know that they are not only supporting students’ basic needs, but are investing in students’ current and future educational success.”

While the donations help keep students warm, their response truly warms Parks’ heart. A broad smile crosses her face as she shows all the thank-you cards from students.

One student writes, “Thank you for giving us coats for winter, it means a lot to me.”

Goodwill extends beyond warmth

Parks believes the goodwill extends beyond the simplicity and comfort of warmth.

“One day, these students may attend Colorado State University,” said Parks. “I want to make sure we take good care of them.”