One of Huntsville’s Rotary clubs is making sure local kids don’t go to school cold.
Rotary People of Action Huntsville is running a coat drive until the end of October. People are asked to donate new or gently-used coats, and other winter apparel for kids 14 and under.
“Nothing with rips or anything that’s been repaired. Working zippers, hats, mitts, scarves, snow pants. Something that kids would feel proud to wear,” says Club President Jennifer Jerrett. “Kids tend to not enjoy hand-me-downs. So something that looks fairly new, or is new, would be ideal.”
Jerrett says donations can be dropped off at Hunt House, Mobile Marine, Community Living Huntsville, Main St.’s Chestnut Park Real Estate, and Hyundai of Muskoka. For the first two weeks of November, parents can take their kids to Trinity United Church to pick out their apparel.
According to Jerrett, the effort is spearheaded by local mother Melissa Daleman, who noticed a lot of kids coming to school without proper cold protection.
“She contacted me and said ‘I really want to do a coat drive. I’ve been dropping my kids off at school, and there are so many kids out there that are not dressed properly for the winter’,” says Jerrett.
Jerrett says the COVID-19 pandemic has hit families hard, and some might be forced to make tough decisions of choosing food, rent, or properly outfitting their children.
“Everything is more and more expensive. Sometimes families [go] ‘okay, you’re going to have to wear that coat one more year,’ even though it might be too small, or not overly warm anymore,” says Jerrett. “That’s why it’s really important that the community rallies around this. People are still struggling in our community and we can make a difference.”
Any questions on specifics can be emailed to [email protected].