Our Coats for Kids committee made some changes this year in our distribution method, and I feel confident that we are reaching many of our North County families who need a warm coat, jacket, sweater, or sweatshirt. 

Barbie Butz e1607969318124
Barbie Butz

The change involves reaching out to our faith community, and shelters, providing them with the warm items, and distributing them through their programs. 

Many of our churches already have food programs for families in need and are only too happy to add our clean, gently used, or new items to their distributions.

We continue to partner with our North County cleaners who clean your donated items, free of charge. Please look through your closets and donate those warm coats and jackets you no longer wear. The cleaners will refresh them, and we will pick them up for the distributions. Remember that CFK is for kids and adults.


If you donate a new jacket for a child, select sizes to fit children in K-6 grades. New items can also be dropped off at one of our cleaners. Simply put the jacket in a bag and mark it “NEW,” and we will pick it up with the cleaned items.

The four North County cleaners are Plaza Cleaners in Atascadero and Paso Robles, Fashion Cleaners in Atascadero and Paso Robles Cleaners and Laundry in Paso Robles. Please tell them that your items are for Coats for Kids and thank them for their support. They are amazing businesses!

If you want our committee to do your shopping, you can make a monetary donation on the CFK Facebook page at CFKOfSLOCOUNTY or on the website at


If you would like to send a check for the purchase of a jacket, please make it out to Atascadero Loaves and Fishes (our 501(c) (3) nonprofit fiscal agent) and put Coats for Kids on the memo line (very important). Mail the check to Atascadero Loaves and Fishes (Coats for Kids) at 5411 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422.

Our outreach this year covers North County as it has for the last 33 years, just in a different way. Thank you to our business supporters, volunteers, and donors.

Remember that Coats for Kids and adults will warm someone and will warm your heart.

The Christmas outreach projects are continuing this year. Groups like Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles, Atascadero Loaves and Fishes, Atascadero Kiwanis and Toys for Tots, and Salvation Army are all continuing their distributions in some manner. Visit their websites to see the changes they have made for 2020. 

I feel that all of us are determined not to let CQVID-19 interfere with our Christmas spirit — the spirit of giving. Remember that Christmas this year will be what we make it, and I know we all intend to make it special for everyone. 

I found this recipe to be perfect for this time of the year. Serve it with fruits in season. It is a nice healthful alternative to all of those sweets we eat in December!

Cranberry Fruit Dip


½ cup light cream cheese, softened

½ cup plain low-fat yogurt

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1 teaspoon grated orange peel


In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, yogurt and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add cranberries and orange peel; stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Mix well before serving.

Makes 1½ cups.

Enjoy the “Spirit” of the season.