HARKER HEIGHTS — For the second year, the city’s parks and recreation department is collecting new and gently-used winter coats for students in the Killeen school district’s Homeless Awareness Response Program.

The drive, part of the city’s Make A Difference Day initiatives, started Monday and continues through Oct. 31, said Heather Cox, activities center coordinator.

Cox said the coats will be donated to the students who are designated as homeless. “There were 1,309 homeless students last year.”

By the fifth week of this school year, 475 students were identified as homeless, according to the school district.

The city chose to sponsor the coat drive last year after Cox learned about the homeless program while searching the Internet.

“I was Googling stuff one day and just saw it on the KISD website,” she said. “I sat down and had a meeting with them and found out what their needs were.”

The first coat drive collected 60 jackets.

“Your warm hearts last year helped keep many homeless children warm while going to school,” said Christina Wilson, program educator.

All coat sizes are needed, from children’s small to adult 2X, Cox said. Donations can be dropped off at the Harker Heights Library, 400 Indian Trail; City Hall, 305 Miller’s Crossing; and the Recreation Center, 307 Miller’s Crossing.

For more information, call Cox at (254) 953-5493.

Contact Kristi Johnson at kristij@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7548

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