November 1, 2014

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Lend a mitten: Warm the Children needs vols!
Written by Staff Report   
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 10:20 PM

Back for another year, Warm the Children is expecting about 200 to 300 children to be referred.

At $80 per child that adds up to $24,000 if 300 children are referred. With money rolled over from last year, and donations so far, “we still need about $10,000 in donations this year,” said WTC coordinator Brooke Thies.

Every donation to WTC counts, whether it is $5 from a child to help another, $50 from an individual, $500 from a company or a $1,000 grant from a community foundation, it all helps, she said.

So far, donations have been coming steadily, and about $10,000 is still needed, said Thies.

The greatest need, however, is volunteers. “We’d like to have as many people as possible volunteering to shop, so we can get done well before Christmas and really cold weather,” said Thies.

Students who need community service hours for scholarships can use the volunteer shopping trips toward those hours, said Thies.

“If you’re under 18, you’ll need to bring your mom or dad with you, though,” she said.

Thies will have a form for students after they have completed their shopping trips as volunteer shoppers, she said.

Adults and retirees also are more than welcome to volunteer to shop, just call The Register, 1-812-537-0063 and leave a message.

Meanwhile, this year also has seen some changes made to Warm The Children.

All referrals are now made by Southesastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corporation. After partnering with them last year we decided they are our best resource in the community to help us with the referral process, said Thies.

This feeling is mutual, said Kimberly Elliot from the SIEOC, “we are thrilled to be partnering with The Register again this year.” Elliot said during the referral process families are asked to comment on how the program will benefit their family as a whole.

Elliot said many families report that after paying their bills they struggle to find the extra money to buy their child or children the winter clothing they need.

Thies said WTC is run by volunteers at The Register, and people from the community who go shopping with the families.

After The Register gets referrals from SIEOC, Thies assigns a child and his or her parent or guardian to a volunteer shopper. The volunteer shoppers contact the family, and set up an appointment to meet them at the Aurora Wal-Mart SuperCenter where all shopping takes place.

Then it is time for the families to go shopping. Children and their families can pick out coats, hats, boots, pants and other warm winter clothing, including underwear and socks.
The shoppers have a form to fill out for each child detailing the purchases, and after the trip, the form is returned to The Register along with a receipt from the transaction. The transactions are tax-free, and donations to WTC are tax deductible because WTC has Internal Revenue Service 501-3-C nonprofit status, said Thies.

To volunteer to shop, call Brooke Thies at 1-812-537-0063 ext 112.

To make a donation, mail it to Warm The Children, c/o The Dearborn County Register, P.O. Box 4128, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025.

To get more information or to make an appointment to register a child for Warm the Children contact Kimberly Elliot at SIEOC, at 1-812-926-1585.