Project Warmth is an initiative to collect new and gently used coats and blankets as well as cash donations to help people in need during extremely cold weather. The Midwest’s extreme conditions during severe weather—hot or cold—prompted the effort to help people in need. Ultimately, Project Warmth aims to ensure lives are not lost to frigid cold or sweltering heat.
A significant portion of the funds raised by Project Warmth’s year-round charitable effort also helps with expensive air conditioning/utility bills in the hot summer months as well as the cold weather heating/utility bills in the winter.
All items collected are distributed free of charge to recipients by The Salvation Army. All financial donations are managed and distributed to more than 65 qualifying agencies in the eight-county metropolitan area through the Mid America Assistance Coalition.
In 2017 over 18,000 items were collected at the citywide donations locations
Comforting Kansas City for over 35 years
During the early 1980’s two major weather events adversely affected Kansas City and the safety of our residents. These were the Great Heat Wave of 1980 and the Frigid Deep Freeze of December 1983 (which was the catalyst for Project Warmth). The 1980 Heat Wave started on July 5th and for seventeen consecutive days the temperature topped over 100 degrees daily in Kansas City In December 1983 Kansas City had weeks of below zero (like -17 degrees Fahrenheit or colder) record setting temperatures. In both of the major weather conditions events there was loss of life and severe suffering for our citizens in KC.
Four independent newspaper carriers decided they would like to collect blankets on Saturday’s and coordinate with The Salvation Army for distribution. Within the early 1980’s, an era of both severe cold and extreme heat environment. Project Warmth evolved from the efforts of our area citizens to protect and to provide blankets and coats for those affected by the extreme cold weather. A year later, The Kansas City Star joined forces with KCTV5’s Heat for Life program and Project Warmth Kansas City has partnered to “Comfort Kansas City” ever since. These two media companies along with several other local leaders and businesses have rallied the community to help its neighbors through severe weather conditions by raising close to $8 million and thousands of tons of coats and blankets over the past 35 years.
In 2012, a formal advisory group organized to ensure annual success and improve transparent accountability. The Project Warmth Advisory Committee was formed with representatives from the following organizations: The Kansas City Star, KCTV5, Mid America Assistance Coalition, The Salvation Army and Tension Corporation. By working with local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to handle the collection and distribution of both funds and items, Project Warmth can ensure its donors, volunteers and sponsors of responsible, accountable and transparent management of their investments.
In 2018, it was decided it would be appropriate to extend the Project Warmth fund raising and programs that it funds to encompassing both the summer and year round projects for our area residents in need of these services. #NoMatterTheSeason
All donations are tax-deductible.