Sometimes in the dark of winter, it’s especially nice to hear a story that makes you feel warm all over. Today we have just the thing for you – a tale of kids doing good things for other kids, strangers stepping up to help out and a touch of serendipity to pull it all together at the end. It goes like this . . .
A few months ago the kids at the wanted to do something nice for the community, so they decided to have a Coats for Kids drive in which people could drop off coats they no longer needed, and those in need of a coat could come and pick one up. It was a slow start, but as of early January, a dozen donated coats were hanging on a rack behind the front desk, and occasionally someone would stop by and choose one. And then, someone mentioned a program in Pennsylvania called Operation Warm.
Operation Warm provides brand new coats to children for FREE. The only tiny catch is a 42-cent per coat handling charge, and recipients are required to handle shipping.
ATC board member Linda Cohen said a phone call quickly brought good news; Operation Warm agreed to send just over 1,000 coats for them to distribute to area children in need.
“We sent out a notice with an application to the various organizations at the end of last week,” Cohen said, “and in only a few days we had to stop taking orders because every coat was reserved.”
Cohen said ATC placed another call to Operation Warm and again got good news – they were told they could send a total of 1,500 new coats for distribution. Cohen said the rest were snapped up immediately.
But how to get them here? The teen center already needed to raise more than $600 for handling costs. How would they find funding to ship more than 200 boxes of coats to Connecticut?
It’s rare for so many puzzle pieces to click into place as easily as they have for this project, but . . . through a local connection, William Joyce and Richard Cohen, of Joyce Van Lines, were told about the situation. In another perfect piece of serendipity, it turned out the shipping company had an empty truck scheduled to drive to this state, and they offered to deliver the coats free of charge.
Linda Cohen said they expect them to be loaded onto the truck tomorrow.
“I don’t know where we’re going to put all those boxes,” Cohen said. “It’ll be a logistical nightmare! But the kids are going to help unload and sort them and package them up for distribution, and it should go quickly.”
And if this story doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy (but mostly warm!) well, you just may need to go get yourself a brand new winter coat.
ATC has already collected donations to cover about half the handling costs. Any further donations would be greatly appreciated. Checks should be made out to Amity Teen Center and mailed to P.O. Box 3671, Woodbridge, CT, 06525.