Schools collecting coats for kids in need |

Schools collecting coats for kids in need

Teri Vance

As winter approaches, the Carson City School District is collecting winter attire for children in need.

As part of Kids in Transition, a program aimed at helping homeless children, director Jeannette Famoso is organizing the drive for coats, hats and gloves.

Although her program focuses on children who are classified as homeless – those living in motels, campgrounds, cars or doubling up with other families – she said the coats will go to any child who doesn’t have one.

“It’s pretty much for anyone who needs one, even if they live in one of the surrounding counties,” she said. “There’s a huge need.”

She said the downturn in the economy has pushed some families that were borderline into poverty.

“Every day, the numbers are climbing,” she said. “The need has definitely increased.”

Although she does not yet have an official count for the year of children who qualify for the program, she said the numbers have grown as have the numbers of children who may not be homeless but are in need of additional services.

She said a coat can make a big difference to a child and the family.

“A $24-$25 coat cuts into the energy budget,” she said.

And it affects their academic performance as well, she said.

“A lot of these elementary school children walk to school,” she said. “If they don’t have a coat, they’re freezing along the way. How can you focus on reading, writing and arithmetic if your hands are freezing cold? I wouldn’t want that to happen to any child.”

The coat drive will run now through January. Sizes 4T on up to large adult sizes are needed. Hats, gloves and socks are also welcome.

Donations can be delivered to the Professional Development Center at 604 W. Musser (the Gleason Complex) from 12-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information, call Famoso at 283-1526.