Betsey Beckmann will literally give you the clothes off of her back. In fact, she has. With a smile, she has given a child a coat of hers to keep warm during the brutal winters in the St. Louis, Missouri area. It is with this same wit and passion that Betsey started and organized Coat-A-Kid, an organization that provides coats to low-income families during the winter.
Betsey started the Coat-A-Kid organization single-handedly when she saw children without coats during winter months at her daughters’ school. She then started handing out coats to kids at her daughters’ school and progressively started adding others. Her efforts eventually lead to the birth of the non-for-profit Coat-A-Kid in 2001. But what makes Betsy’s organization so unique is her hands-on approach to serving kids in her community. She takes the time to shake each child’s hand and makes certain that the coats each child receives is in top-notch condition and fits perfectly. She also personally inscribes each child’s name into their new coat giving them a feeling of ownership.
Her personal efforts have resulted in phenomenal outcomes. In 2008 alone, Coat-A-Kid has provided coats, hats and gloves to 900 children in 5 school districts, 3 Head Start programs and 6 foster homes. This year she plans to increase her success by joining forces with the St. Louis Public Schools. This partnership ensures that the number of children impacted by Coat-A-Kid will increase to nearly 3,000 students.
Through her efforts, Betsey Beckmann has provided warmth to children who live without the luxury of a heated home or warm car. By training others, Betsey will continue to give the clothes off her back to those in need through Coat-A-Kid.