This will be the eighth year that Mobile Edge in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, has hosted the annual Coats for Kids Drive. I decided to interview the owner of Mobile Edge, Mitch Schaffer, to find out why he chooses to continue to collect coats for kids year after year.
Morgan: What exactly is Coats for Kids?
Mitch: Coats for Kids is an annual drive that I began eight years ago. The way it works is if a customer brings in a new or gently used children’s winter coat, we will give them a discount on a remote car starter. We donate all of the coats to a nearby charity called Carenet. Carenet then distributes them to children in our local community. Throughout the years, we have collected thousands of coats that have gone to local children. This year, the drive will run from October 1 through December 31.
Morgan: Can you tell me a little bit about the history of Coats for Kids and how this annual event got started?
Mitch: I was sitting in my office one day and listening to the news station when I heard about a group doing a coat drive. It clicked right away, and I knew that this was a perfect way to tie in with our remote car starter sales. Hundreds of people come to our store each year to purchase remote starts to stay warm, but there are a lot of children who don’t even have a winter coat. As simple as it sounds, that’s how Coats for Kids got started. If you donate a coat to help a child stay warm, we will give you a discount on a remote start.
Morgan: Can anyone donate a children’s coat even if they don’t wish to make a purchase?
Mitch: Of course! We will always accept donations of coats. We will also take adult coats, hats, scarves, mittens, etc. However, you only receive the remote start discount if you donate a child’s coat. We do it this way because we are specifically targeting the needs of our local children.
Morgan: I’ve heard that this has expanded over the years and other retailers have adopted the same idea. Can you tell us more about that?
Mitch: Over the years, I have been able to share this program with other mobile audio retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. I believe people genuinely want to make a difference, so it has become quite easy to share my vision and have other people adopt it for their own businesses. Now a great deal of other markets around the country also participate in their own Coats for Kids drive.
I own another company that does consulting work for mobile enhancement retailers. Each year, we offer our clients a free, turnkey way to promote a Coats for Kids drive at their stores. This has also helped spread the idea. I’m very proud that what we started here in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, has spread as widely as it has.
Morgan: Is there anything else a client should know about this promotion?
Mitch: The children’s coats must be new or gently used for the customer to receive the discount. There is also one discount per purchase. If a customer brings in three coats and purchases three remote starts, they’ll receive a discount on each start. You receive $25 off a one-way remote start or $50 off a two-way remote start.
To date, Mobile Edge alone has donated thousands of coats to their local Lehighton community. Whether you’re looking to purchase a remote start or not, dropping off your donated winter wear at Mobile Edge is a great way to give back to the community you live in. If you would like more information about dropping off a coat, or our promotion, contact us here.