We have received, and donated, a little over 350 winter wear items as of Thursday, December 15, which was the last day of school before Christmas Break.
All week there were emails from those who cannot get to NSB, so I continued picking up more items from here to Ormond Beach. I stopped by our Drop Off Site, Delicious Nutritious on canal in NSB, to say hello and thank them for all of their kindness and efforts in donating the time and space it takes to help this cause and low and behold, once again, the closet they have donated to us was full! I left with an SUV filled and ready for distribution to more schools when they come back from the break. This project is still going strong, even after Christmas!
The outpouring of generosity from our community has been so very gracious and loving; you would be surprised to know that we have barely made a dent in filling the higher needs our county is currently experiencing, with donations to two local elementary schools; Terry T. Small in Daytona Beach, Chisholm of New Smyrna. Our third and fourth schools so far have been New Smyrna Middle, who will share donations, rotating items of size with New Smyrna High.
Thanks to the City Manager of New Smyrna, we reached out to the community at Babe James Community Center, hosting a "Day of Giving", distributing coats, blankets, sweatshirts and assorted winter wear items to local members of the community. All of the heavier used times were given to shelters who are seemingly glad to accept anything for our area's homeless adults and families.
The reception is always the same at the schools and shelters, you would think an armored truck was pulling in just for them...everyone is so appreciative. I'm learning so much too, mostly that the need is much greater than we know.
The nurse at one school explains how she and other faculty shop thrift stores because often students have nothing, lacking all articles of clothing, at all times of year. For an adult it is somewhat easier to hold onto clothing and use as long as it serves its purpose, but the need for children is constant, they keep growing...
Some supplementary, personal items aren’t accepted if used, e.g. underwear, so I need to consider a way to reach out for these items as well, again, not realizing the need until enlightened by the schools.
I’m blown away to know that an employee or teacher within our school system today, should have to pay for anything to help a child when they are on the salary that they make, yet they do, with oodles of compassion and without any complaint. I have officially put the word out that before any teacher reaches into their own pocket that they contact me with a description of the items needed and I will put the word out to you, my friends.
Caroling for Coats has been one my favorite ideas ever and I'm so glad I rolled with it. Sadly, and at the same time, fortunately, it has opened my eyes to the enormous needs of others even further than I imagined.
It takes some thought and planning to properly and effectively, help the various types of us who are in need. So, everyone, we have a lot of work to do, and I am your vehicle so don't hesitate to call on me.