Each year Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc. - through their "Making a Warmth of Difference" initiative - donates hundreds and hundreds of brand new coats and other winter apparel to valued organizations across Long Island in an effort to help warm our children in need during the winter months. This wonderful organization, led by Executive Director Bob Eslick, was founded in conjunction with his sons Robert and Philip Eslick in 1998 and aims to encourage philanthropy in young people. Empire Bakery Equipment has been a proud supporter of this initiative for over 20 years!

This year as families from all walks of life, struggle to deal with the fall-out of the ongoing COVID pandemic, the ability to give back and support our community is even more important to the Empire Team. That's why on November 13th, Claudio Zarate, Owner of Empire Bakery Equipment, could be found where you'll find him every year at this time - helping pack boxes, load trucks and deliver winter coats and apparel for children. As a board member of the Kids Helping Kids (KHK) organization, Zarate worked with Eslick in 2004 when KHK launched the "Making a Warmth of Difference " winter apparel program.

Since the inception of the program, KHK as distributed around $6 million in new winter apparel to thousands of children in need throughout the area. "It is a great organization for a great cause and I am proud to be a part of the team," said Zarate. "This year feels extra special being able to give the gift of warmth during the COVID-19 pandemic." The children who will receive these wonderful gifts of warmth include children who have been abused, neglected, in foster care, or have a parent or guardian who may be struggling with substance abuse, mental illness or financial instability

These donations are not just keeping children warm, but they can also help in building self-esteem as these kids wear new branded gear. "No child deserves to go through what these kids have had to, and it feels great to give them something to smile about," Zarate says. KHK is great in that it brings both youngsters and adults together to work towards a great cause. Kids learn by helping, volunteering and seeing first-hand those less fortunate. Empire is proud to be linked to such a wonderful organization and proud of Claudio for working selflessly and generously with KHK for so many years!

[caption id="attachment_1253" align="alignleft" width="450"] Hundreds of winter apparel ready to be loaded and shipped to kids in need![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1254" align="alignleft" width="190"] Claudio Zarate - President, Empire Bakery Equipment[/caption]