Monday, December 16, 2013

Share the Warmth

Calling all warm and generous hearts in Westchester County, NY! Did you know that in Westchester County nearly 12 percent of children newborn to age 18 live in poverty? Despite that startling fact, we can take heart in knowing that there are wonderful organizations trying to make a difference; Kid’s Kloset is one such program that since its inception in 2011 has provided approximately 3,000 local children with clothing, diapers, strollers and other items.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, in addition to volunteering weekly at my town’s local food pantry, I also volunteer on a sporadic basis for Kid's Kloset which is a not-for-profit, volunteer-driven program affiliated with Westchester Jewish Community Services that helps provide assistance to Westchester County children in need. The program collects clothing donations for children from newborns to 18 years old which are then sorted based on sex, age, size and season, and then all clothing deemed usable (they won’t keep items that are ripped, stained, etc.; basically, if you wouldn’t want your own child to wear it, they won’t pass it on to a child in need) is used to prepare what they call “bags of love.” Each bag of love is prepared in response to requests received from public schools, churches, shelters, social workers, etc. and contains a week’s worth of outfits; all in hopes of offering needy children clothes they can both feel comfortable and confident in for school and day-to-day activities.

The need is there year-round but it’s even more crucial during the winter months when the lack of a coat means a child will go cold and no mittens means little fingers will be exposed to biting temperatures. If you live locally and have children, please go through their closets and see if there are any clothes you can spare. Your generosity will help a child keep warm this winter. In particular, please note that a recent email I received from Kid’s Kloset specifically identified a need for boy and girl’s clothing (including outerwear) for sizes 3T – 8 (but all sizes are welcomed!). If you’d like to help, please visit the Kid’s Kloset site for contact information and drop-off locations.

I’ve passed it on, now it’s up to you to help make a difference. Remember “nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.”