Coat drive falls short

In the midst of Friday's windy snowstorm, a wet and shivering middle-schooler showed up in Jeannette Famoso's office.

"He was freezing," said Famoso, director of the district's Kids in Transition Program. "All he had was a hoodie. He asked for a coat, but I didn't have one in his size."

The program, which serves children living in motels, hotels, campgrounds or doubling up with other families, recently held a coat drive and Famoso distributed the coats she had.

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

Famoso said the downturn in the economy has left more families than ever struggling to make ends meet. That means more families have fallen into poverty status and there are fewer families to help out.

However, she remains optimistic.

"Everyone's pinching pennies, but I know this community has it in them," she said. "I just know it's there."

She said she was sad to turn the boy away and dreads having to repeat it.

"This one fell through the cracks," she said. "And that was just the first cold day. There are going to be more as it gets colder."

She is looking for coats ranging in size from about 4T to extra large, along with hats and gloves in all sizes.

She's also looking for any ideas the community may have to help boost contributions.


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