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  • GSF Foundation

GSF Foundation Gives Lasting Warmth to Kids in Need with Over 120 Coats Donated in 2023

While the winter season can be difficult for families experiencing financial hardship, the GSF Foundation (GSFF) Committees strive to make it easier. Through its Coats for Kids program, GSFF partners with local school educators and administrators to provide new coats to children in need.  


As part of GSFF’s Coats for Kids 2023 efforts, Foundation committees located where Golden State Foods (GSF) associates live and work, donated over 120 coats to children across participating cities including Albuquerque, Irvine and Seattle. The mission of the Coats for Kids program is to bring warmth to the hearts, minds, and bodies of children in need, in hopes that providing them with winter coats will help them stay healthy and in school.


The Coats for Kids program would not be possible without the help from associates who aim to make a difference within their communities. For example, the Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) Albuquerque GSFF team collaborated with one of their long-time drivers of 17 years, Dean Black, whose wife teaches at a local school in the community. Working together to identify opportunities to donate to students at the school, GSFF provided 44 coats to children in need in the Albuquerque area. 


Additionally, Human Resources Generalist of QCD Albuquerque, Alondra Rodriguez, reflected on the Coats for Kids mission and its volunteers.

“Coats for Kids is probably one of my favorite activities through the Foundation. This goes beyond coats – it’s about giving back to a community, to the younger generations,” said Rodriguez. “It’s like an everlasting hug full of warmth.”


Customer Service Supervisor of QCD Albuquerque, Linda Sitman, shared her experience of working with local schools through the Coats for Kids program.

“Having the opportunity to give back to the community is such a rewarding feeling. It’s all about making a big impact on the lives of these students,” said Sitman. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Tome Elementary School in 2024!”


In Seattle, GSFF worked with the Auburn School District before the holiday break to distribute 47 coats and sweaters to kids and young adults who were facing economic hardship in their community. QCD Northwest Regional Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Rob Bush, reflected on his visit to a local school in the Auburn School District.

“Our goal was to not only bring coats, but bring smiles to these kids’ faces,” said Bush. “They deserve the absolute best, and our team looks forward to continuing our work with this program.”


The Irvine Committee partnered with Project Hope Alliance and Hope Harbor for the second year, providing 30 homeless teens with a coat specifically ordered for each recipient, allowing each teen to choose the size, style, and color for personal preference and individuality. In addition to these two partnerships, the Coats for Kids organizers also teamed up with the GSFF Irvine Best Foot Forward program leads to provide each teen with a new pair of brand-name athletic shoes to go with their coat.


“Your teen years are such a defining time in your life, yet the number of homeless youths continues to increase,” said Leah Passignano, Global Branding and Communications Assistant for GSF. “Our Irvine team saw this great need to support the teens in our community, since they sometimes lose support as they age out of programs, and we wanted to help them feel special during the holiday season.”


Through ongoing programs and donations, GSFF works towards positively impacting the areas where associates reside and work. The Foundation welcomes additional support and local partnerships for the Coats for Kids program. All donations go directly to purchasing and delivering coats to children in need throughout the cold winter season to keep them warm on the outside and inside their hearts.

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