Warm coats for children boost Rotary image Bradford Rotary raised funds from individual donors within the organisation and the Blaisdell Foundation to purchase 109 warm coats for elementary-age students in the district.

Look I’m all in pink,” said a little girl at George G Blaisdell Elementary School as she examined her new winter coat.

The girl, as well as several other children at the elementary campus, were provided new coats on Monday by members of the Bradford Rotary Club (UK, District 1040) who delivered 109 winter jackets to students at GGB as well as School Street Elementary School.

Bill Chapman, Rotary Club president, said the programme partnered with individual donors within the club as well as the Blaisdell Foundation to raise over $2,000 for the purchase of name brand winter coats through the Operation Warm Coats for Kids Foundation.

A little girl at George G Blaisdell Elementary School flashes a big smile after trying on a new winter coat delivered to the campus by members of the Bradford Rotary Club. Photo: Kate Day Sager/The Bradford Era
A little girl at George G Blaisdell Elementary School flashes a big smile after trying on a new winter coat delivered to the campus by members of the Bradford Rotary Club. Photo: Kate Day Sager/The Bradford Era

“This is the second year our club has decided to take action and purchase coats for children that the school district identified as needing new coats,” Chapman said.
“Many of the families in our community are working families that may have a hard time making ends meet” or live at the poverty level.

“Deciding between food, rent, heat and medicine takes priority, and children may have to go without a coat during the freezing cold winter months,” Chapman continued.

“We are grateful to the Blaisdell Foundation for assisting us in meeting our goal to ensure children in our schools have warm winter coats.”

Tina Martin, community service chairperson for the Rotary club, said the organisation initially planned to purchase approximately 50 coats, but doubled that number when the school district informed them more were needed.

“I think it’s nice that the Rotarians came and saw the impact the coats have” for the young recipients, Martin added.

“It’s one thing to donate money, but to see it actually in action” is good.

Elementary teachers Andrew Eckstrom and Vicky Peterson said the coats are really needed by some of the students as a number of them don’t have any of the necessities needed to stay warm during winter.

“The office downstairs always has free hats and gloves, and we give out free coats through Project Bundle Up for families that show up,” Eckstrom explained.

“But there are families who still need” coats for their little ones.

“This is very nice because these are (quality) coats,” Eckstrom added.

Principal Erin Waugaman said she is grateful for the programme because there are children who have arrived at school in bitter cold temperatures clad only in sweatshirts.

“I always say that the generosity of our community is just amazing,” Waugaman said.

Source: The Bradford Era

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