As temperatures are starting to fall, Peggy Sweetland, director of the Carson City School District’s Children In Transition program, is hoping no child gets left out in the cold.
“We’re trying to help them start out the season with quality shoes and clothing so they can concentrate on school instead of worrying about staying warm,” Sweetland said. “It’s extremely important.”
She is kicking off the annual coat drive, collecting waterproof jackets and coats for children in the McKinney-Vento Children In Transition program, which serves students living in motels, cars, campgrounds or doubling up with other families.
Sweetland said more than 50 of the 278 children in the program are living in motels, an increase from the number last year. Living in motels makes it difficult, she explained, to do laundry regularly or properly care for clothing.
“There’s no drawers or places to store things,” she said. “Having two coats can be a good thing for these kids.”
A recent shoe drive, Soulmates, sponsored by The Lodge, an assisted care community in Carson City, collected 62 pairs of shoes for the program.
“Our residents wanted to give back,” said Gina Hein, mission coordinator for The Lodge.
However, some shoes are still needed, particularly women’s sizes 7-11; girls’ sizes 1-3; men’s sizes 7-9; and boys’ sizes 10-3.
“We have clothing needs that are outstanding,” Sweetland said. “We have a heap of back orders.”
Coats are mostly needed in children’s sizes small through large. Sweetland asked that they be new or very gently used and clean coats.