The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Coats for Kids campaign ends today, but the giving has only just begun.
Bringing Coats for Kids to Montgomery County was the brainchild of Sergeant Paul Davis and Mary Hampton, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Clerk, and is in its third year of giving back to the youth of the county.
“Both the police department and the fire department have programs, Shop with a Cop and Shop with a Fireman, to help kids out, but they only have the resources to help a few,” Davis said. “We wanted to have something where we could help out all the kids in the area that needed it.”
The previous two years, Davis and Hampton said they’ve distributed around 100 coats each year. They expect to hit that number again in the program’s third year.
“We send out letters to every school in the North and South school districts asking them to nominate one child from each grade and we take down their size and do our best to fulfill their need,” Hampton said. “All in all, we have kids from eight different school from every grade.”
This year not only will kids get a brand new coat, but Davis said each child will get a hat and gloves, as well.
“We’re just trying to meet the basic needs for as many kids as possible,” Davis said.
The sheriff’s office is able to accomplish the Coats for Kids program through donations from local businesses and individuals. They accept new coats, but mainly receive monetary donations which they use towards a large coat order at the Burlington Coat Factory.
“The Burlington Coat Factory has been good to us. They offer a 15 percent discount off the total of the order, and by ordering through them we can assure that the kids will be getting a quality coat for the winter,” Davis said.
Once the order is delivered, Hampton said getting the coats ready for each kid can be challenging.
“When you’ve got 100 kids at eight different schools and each one is a different size, it can be quite a feat getting them all ready to go out the door,” Hampton said. “But it’s always worth it when you finally get to deliver them.”
Davis said they’re hoping to receive the coats within the next week and get them out to the kids not long after that.
“We’ll do our best to get them out fairly quickly. Hopefully we’ll be able to hand them out sometime next week, they’ll definitely have them before Christmas,” Davis said.
Both Davis and Hampton were quick to point out that while they are happy with the help they’re providing through Coats for Kids, there is a year-round need for the community that they are happy to provide.
“If a child in the county needs a coat at any other time, or even something like a pair of shoes, we’ll do our very best to provide for that child,” Davis said. “We want the community to know that we’re here to help, and we’re happy to do it.”
The sheriff’s office accepts donations of new coats and monetary contributions year-round, which Hampton said the community is great about.
“We’d just really like to thank all the businesses in town and all the people who donate,” Hampton said. “It really does help.”