Knights of Columbus and local police are helping kids stay warm this winter

Hannah Burlingame photos/Review • On Nov. 20, members from area Knights of Columbus councils unloaded donated coats that will be given to local youth. From left, Ken Schult, grand knight for South St. Paul; West St. Paul officer Joelle Bartlett; Dennis Pfab, the grand knight for West St. Paul; South St. Paul police Chief Bill Messerich; and West St. Paul police Chief Bud Shaver with some of the 300 donated coats.

On Nov. 20, a trailer full of coats pulled into the West St. Paul Police Department’s parking lot. The coats were donated to the Knights of Columbus, and George Sonnen, Knights district deputy for the area, said three councils were helping hand out the coats, including the West St. Paul council and the South St. Paul council. 

This is the second year the coat drive has been held.

Sonnen said the district was given 300 coats; 100 will go to each council. 

“It’s best done if you have the police give them out because they know who needs them” he said.

Joelle Bartlett, who is an officer with the West St. Paul Police Department, said officers are encouraged to do projects for the community. Her idea was Coats for Kids, to help collect warm gear for those who need it. Bartlett said the donation of so many coats is amazing.

“This is going to be super special to people that need these jackets,” Bartlett said, adding she doesn’t know just yet how the coats are going to be distributed. 

South St. Paul police Chief Bill Messerich said his school resource officers will be given the coats, because they’re the ones who see kids every day and know who may need a jacket. He said it’s nice for the officers to have something to give kids who are in need. 

Hannah Burlingame

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