Community rallies to provide coats to kids

When Jerry Mott heard a student was turned away from the Kids In Transition program because there was a shortage of coats donated, she went to the girls in her Girl Scout Troop No. 553.

Kylie Riske, 12, was quick to respond.

"My sister and I were grown out of some of our coats and snow pants," she said. "We felt sorry for all the kids who didn't have the money for a coat. We had some extra ones, so we brought them in."

They also went to friends and family to collect them, bringing in 28 coats and several snowsuits.

Kylie and the rest of her Girl Scout troop brought in a load of coats Wednesday that completely filled a rack at the Kids In Transition office, a program that serves children living in motels, campgrounds, cars and with other families.

Director Jeannette Famoso kicked off the drive in November, but realized it had fallen short when a middle-schooler came in for a coat, but there were none to fit him.

"I think this is the first time I've ever not been able to get something for someone," she said at the time. "I just feel like I've fallen short."

However, after a story ran in the Nevada Appeal publicizing her dilemma, she said the donations came pouring in.

"We received a huge, generous donation from the community," she said. "It's very much appreciated by each student who received one."

She said she was able to give 255 students a new coat, with some left over.

Kaitlin Vairo, 11, was happy to see how many coats her troop collected.

"I know how cold it is," she said. "I feel bad for these kids. They shouldn't have to be cold."

Famoso, too, said she was pleased. But she was not surprised.

"I knew it," she said. "This community has always come through for the children here."


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