Warners’ give veterans new winter coats

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The Warner’s Warm-up Coat Drive began November first and just wrapped up this weekend.

Since the drive began more than a decade ago the former Rams quarter back, along with Operation Food Search and of course the St. Louis community have helped give away more than 165,000 coats.  The goal this year is to give away 15,000.  Tuesday Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda began giving away so those coats to some very deserving people.

150 U.S. veterans received the VIP treatment with a reception and coat giving away at St. Patrick Center.  They also received hats, personal care items and even flu shots.  Helping them try on their new coats was St. Louis legend Kurt Warner and his wife.  The Warner coat give away has been going strong for nearly 15 years.  Ten years after leaving the Rams Kurt Warner continues to lend his name to the cause, he says, because of his love for the people of St. Louis and their continued support.

"Whether I was playing here or NY or AZ or we just come back now and it's just means so much to be able to continue initiatives in the community to be able to connect with the people who meant so much to us over the years," said Warner.

One former homeless vet knows firsthand about being cold on the street with no coat.  He says it was on the streets he witnessed Kurt Warner’s generosity firsthand.

"I saw him coming out a football game and I was pan handling on the street and he stopped, went out of his way to give me money personally out of his pocket," said Jeffrey Williams who is also a vet.

This giveaway is especially important to Brenda Warner who is served in the Marines in the 1990's. She just wants these vets to know how grateful they are for their service.

"You know it's a sacrifice because they sacrifice a lot. To know they have a coat on I hope it is a hug for them because they deserve it.  They deserve to be acknowledged, recognized and celebrated," said Brenda Warner.

And that is the goal of the coat give away to let veterans know they are not invisible and that the St. Louis community cares about them.

Operation Food Search will soon begin coat distribution to homeless shelters, schools and other social service agencies though the bi-state region.

Even though the coat drive ended over the weekend, you can still donate through this week at FedEx office locations.

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