ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - As the child’s name was called, the pre-schooler shyly pointed out “That’s not my jacket”.
“It is now…I’m giving it to you!,” replied Brenda Warner before overcoming the last bit of the child’s reticence with a hug.
This morning’s exchange at the headquarters of Operation Food Search on Olive Blvd. near Skinker was repeated more than two-dozen times, as the wife of Super Bowl XXXIV MVP quarterback Kurt Warner was helping to bring the 12th annual Warners’ Warm-up Coat Drive to a successful conclusion following a two-week run by handing out coats to student from the Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center.
The Warners started the annual charity before Kurt Warner left town, eventually winding up with the Arizona Cardinals and taking that team to Super Bowl XLIII.
This year’s drive runs through this Wednesday, November 14th.
“Even though you’re gone the need’s still there,” Brenda Warner explained. “So that first year we were gone (2004) we thought ‘Let’s see what happens’. And we got the same amount of coats as we did when we were here, so we’ll continue as long as the need is there.”
They now collect more than 10,000 coats per year for distribution to needy children and adults.
With more than 200 drop-off locations throughout the bi-state region, Warner says area residents should find it convenient to donate new and “gently-used” winter coats during the drive, which runs through Wednesday.
Donors can also give $20 cash that will be used to purchase a brand new Columbia coat for a child.
Warners’ Warm-up partners include KMOX, Y98, Fresh 102.5, KMOV-TV, FedEx Office, Walgreens, LookAfter Hair Co., the St. Louis Rams, MESI, and participating credit unions, police stations, and American Cleaners.
Go to www.kurtwarner.org for more information.