Two Local Nonprofits Join Forces to Keep the Community Warm

Two organizations are joining forces to keep our underserved community members in northwest Ohio warm this winter. Susie’s Coats for Kids and Hannah’s Socks recently announced the two nonprofit organizations will be merging into a new agency, “Susie’s Coats for Kids and Hannah’s Socks, Inc.” to help generate and maintain a consistent revenue stream and to increase the amount of apparel that is donated to the community.

Two organizations, one goal

Starting in 2006, Susie’s Coats for Kids, led by Founder, Susan Perry, has donated brand new coats, hats, and gloves to children in financial need in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan from September to March. Since 2008, Hannah’s Socks, led by former Executive Director Robin Laird, has provided over one million pairs of socks to community members in need all year round. With the new entity, the organization will transition to providing new coats, hats, gloves and socks to those in need all year.

Discussions to bring the two companies started in March of 2023 following Laird’s retirement. That’s when Perry worked diligently with the board of directors to merge the two organizations into one while ensuring a seamless transition while ensuring the community gets the clothes they need.

“While Hannah’s socks were going through this transition phase, the board approached us to combine two nonprofits that had the same mission of providing free apparel to communities that are less fortunate,” Perry said.

Perry saw the opportunity to expand her organization to more than just coats – she wanted to make sure those in need were covered from head to toe. Susie’s Coats for Kids provided coats primarily for underserved children while Hannah’s Socks focused on donating to community members in need, regardless of age. “We’ve always wanted to provide clothes from head to toe, and now we can!”

Using personal experiences to help others in need

Perry experienced first-hand what it was like to go through hard times when she was a foster child.

“Creating Susie’s Coats for Kids is my way of giving back to the community to help ensure they don’t go through what I did when I was younger,” Perry said.

After holding the first distribution in downtown Toledo on her 50th birthday, she realized there was more of a significant need than she ever imagined. Now, with the combination of the two nonprofits, the possibilities are endless.

“It’s [Susie’s Coats for Kids and Hannah’s Socks, Inc.] is my heart song… to help so many people who are going through what I went through as a child… it truly comes full circle,” she said.

Community helping the community

Perry says Susie’s Coats for Kids and Hannah’s Socks, Inc. thrives with the support of the community. She estimates over 6,000 hats, coats and gloves to be hand-delivered this winter and already 79,000 pairs of socks have been delivered since June 1. However, there is always a need to donate more.

If you’re interested in supporting Susie’s Coats for Kids and Hannah’s Socks, Inc., you can donate in several ways. You can donate brand new coats with tags still on them, mail a check or purchase items from their Amazon wish list.

Each organization will continue to keep their respective websites and social media accounts. You can access Susie’s Coats for Kids’ website here to make a donation or Hannah’s Socks’ website here. Perry said donations on either website will funnel into one pot.

There are plans within the next six to eight months to make one cross-functional website and social media page.

Following monetary donations, Perry and the team buys the apparel themselves and hand-delivers them to the community. There is also an annual distribution event at Jones Leadership Academy where parents can bring their children to gear up for the winter. This year’s event is scheduled for November 4.

“It has been an honor for me personally to be able to carry on the legacy of Hannah’s Socks, and to continue their legacy for years to come,” Perry said.