Winter of 2015- Right now we are planning on adding one additional school, and expect to deliver 100 jackets, we have collected about 50 so far this year
RESULTS SO FAR
We have received many messages and letters of thanks from parents, school administrators, and school resource Officers expressing thanks and gratitude. We have heard accounts of children who were suffering and befitted from this program. We can tell you that knowing we were able to help local children in need is thanks enough. We encourage everyone to join us and help make the world a better place for kids.
What is Coats4Kids?
Its simple, we don’t want kids to be cold. In Florida it’s normally pretty warm, but that’s the problem. We do have cold winter weather for a couple of months and less fortunate families can be caught unprepared. COATS4KIDS is our attempt to make sure that every child in Gainesville has a jacket to wear when it gets cold out. The children are often sent to school without jackets, so that is where we intervene. We take the coats to the schools and give them to the school nurses and guidance counselors. These folks are in the best position to identify children who are in need, and give them a clean, warm jacket that they can take home with them, just in case the home does not have heat.
Please donate your new or used jackets at Homestead Insurance Agency (5211 SW 91ST, Terrace, Gainesville FL). If you can't make it in call us at (352) 505-6565, and we will arrange a way to pick them up. Right now, we are focusing on elementary school students, since they are least able to care for themselves or speak up when they are cold. Jackets should be for children age 5-12, but if you only have bigger items, we will try to find them a good home.
Winter of 2013- We became aware of the issue and decided to do something about it. We collected and distributed 30 Jackets to two schools
How does not having a jacket harm a child?
Other than being cold and miserable, children often display behavioral problems in school when they are under duress from an outside influence. The child can also experience illness as problems associated with poverty can often feed on each other . For example if the home has limited healthy food, and there is no heater, and the child doesn't receive regular healthcare , not having protective clothing can make the difference between getting sick or not.
Winter of 2014- We expanded by adding two more schools and distributed about 80 jackets.
Isn't there a government agency who handles this ?
Why does this impact Children?
Low income families often can not afford cold weather clothing for their children. In some of the worst cases, the parents just don't consider that the child has a need that is being unmet. In either case it is usually the children of low income families that are caught unprepared and suffer the most.
What exactly are the problems you are addressing?
The main problem is that there is a mistaken belief that it does not get cold enough in Florida for it to cause an issue. Did you know that in Gainesville FL we average 16 days per year where the temperature drops below freezing? We commonly experience a lot more days where it is near freezing or just cold.