Nearly 250 coats, hoodies and jackets were distributed at this year’s Coats in Totes event sponsored by the Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Department of Radio and Television Services, WRVS 89.9FM and W18BB-TV.

The event, which began in 2018 as a service project commemorating World College Radio Day, serves as an outreach initiative for the Elizabeth City community and offers gently used coats and jackets for children in grades K-12 on a first come, first serve basis. 

The effort thrives off donations and sponsorships. This year’s laundry sponsor was The Wash House, which has sites in Elizabeth City, Hertford, and Edenton. The business allowed volunteers to properly clean donated items before distribution. Additionally, the Food Lion grocery store on Weeksville Road donated a gift card for organizers to purchase supplies.

The event has become a positive staple in the community and it’s one ECSU is committed to continuing.

“We are always motivated to provide these types of opportunities from which the community can benefit,” said Melba Smith, director of radio and television services at ECSU. The department also hosts an annual Back 2 School Bash and Food Drive for K-12 students that provides free school supplies, bookbags, haircuts and other offerings for the community.

“Outreach and engagement are at the very core of who we are as public media servants,” Smith said. “Service is as much a part of our voice as the content that can be heard and seen over the airwaves.”

Organizations interested in partnering with ECSU as sponsors for next year’s event or who want to donate items can contact Smith at 252-335-3985.