WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita organization that sponsors Operation Holiday says applications for children are up by 58% this year and it needs the community to help.

HumanKind Ministries is projecting to serve 9,000 to 11,000 children this season. Last year, it served 7,000 children. And it is still accepting applications through Nov. 30.

There’s an urgent need for coats for the children. The goal is to provide a coat for every child on the list.

HumanKind says many families are at risk of falling below the poverty line due to high inflation levels and the continued effects of the pandemic. So it is asking the community to donate coats, cash and food items.

“It’s a tall order, but I know our community has the spirit and generosity to meet this challenge,” LaTasha St. Arnault, HumanKind president and CEO, said in a news release. “If they can’t find coats locally, cash donations are a very efficient alternative as they help us purchase them in bulk at discounted rates.”

You can donate money online at HumanKindWichita.org/Donate. Another option is to mail or drop off checks or cash at HumanKind Ministries, 829 N. Market, Wichita, KS 67214.

Coats can be purchased directly from HumanKind’s Operation Holiday Amazon Wishlist.

The organization also needs a lot of canned foods, especially meat, fruit, and vegetables. Take donations directly to:

  • The Operation Holiday warehouse, in the former Sears Auto Center at Towne East Mall. It is open Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 23. Starting on Nov. 28, it will be open from Monday through Saturday. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • HumanKind admin building at 829. N Market, Monday – Thursday, 8:30a-5p; and Friday, 8:30-Noon
  • Any Operation Holiday collection site

Operation Holiday needs the donations soon. Distribution will take place from Dec. 14 through Dec. 17.

To learn more about Operation Holiday, including how to apply, donate, collect, and volunteer, visit operationholiday.org.