READING, Pa. - With the official start of winter just around the corner, the Reading Fightin Phils are going to bat for Berks County's children in need.

The R-Phils are teaming up with Reading's Christmas on the Mountain and HGSK Law Firm to hold a winter coat drive.

It's set to take place this Friday, from 5 until 10 p.m., at Christmas on the Mountain, which is located at the Hillside Playground on North 14th Street.

The Fightins' mascots will be on hand to greet visitors, who are encouraged to come bearing new or gently used coats to donate.

"Whatever you want to do, that your heart provides us with, we will make sure it gets to the proper agencies," said Keith Eschleman, visual coordinator for Christmas on the Mountain.

Eschleman said Christmas on the Mountain isn't just about giving people a place to see an awesome holiday lights display.

"You can always throw something in on the top that provides people with clothing, food," Eschleman said. "We do that a lot."

He said he teaches the JROTC cadets, who help make the mountain shine bright, that they should always pay it forward.

"That's one of our affirmative actions," Eschleman said. "We teach them to be better people, to be respectful, to understand that life isn't perfect but they can try to make it a little better for individuals."

Admission to Christmas on the Mountain is free, as it will be each night through Dec. 23.