RALEIGH — In eight years of WRAL-TV's Coats for the Children campaign, families in need have found warmth. The need has not vanished. There are still children who, without your help, would not be as warm this winter.
The Salvation Army will distribute the coats and the dollar donations you give. Lorraine Monroe says your generosity always makes a difference. "We have families that come to us that have to make a choice whether or not they eat or pay a utility bill."
To help those families, the Salvation Army in Raleigh opens their "Clothing Closet" every Thursday morning. Among the clothing offered are several children's coats left over from last year's Coats for the Children campaign. "This community was very generous last year and I've already received calls from stores, again schools that want to donate coats, want to have barrels to collect coats."
Last year was different from most. Hurricane Fran took a toll not only on homes, but on bank accounts as well. This year, the economy is up, unemployment is low and holiday shoppers are packing malls and stores. "I think people are seeing that they really are fortunate and they want to share that."
Monroe says, despite the economy's ups and downs, the Salvation Army shelter is always full. And the weekly Clothing Closet always attracts families looking for a break. "When you have people in need you have people who are more fortunate, you still have those who are in need. We have women who come to this shelter with nothing... they have nothing. And children have to be outfitted from underwear to their outer garments."
Last year's leftover coats are running out. As the winter chill churns lower, Monroe expects more families will come through these doors looking for help... hoping the generosity of others more fortunate, will keep their young ones warm. "And so if we can offer them a coat for their children or for themselves... Then that's something else they don't have to worry about."
You can alsodrop offnew coats, or used coats in good condition to WRAL-TV, area Jiffy Lube or 360 Communications locations.
WRAL's Coats for Children volunteers will be taking your donations by phone all day Friday, December 12th in our annual telethon. Just call us at1-800-424-9725.
You can also make a cash donation throughWRAL OnLine.