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Child keeps students warm

Time:2016-11-24 18:59Shoes websites Click:

child warm keeps students

The Morning Journal’s Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-A-Child fund provides new clothes and shoes to area children in need.

All donations go to the children; The Morning Journal funds all administrative costs.

Readers can make monetary donations in person at The Morning Journal, or online at . Checks or money orders can be made out to The Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-a-Child Program and mailed to: The Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-a-Child Program, c/o The Morning Journal, 1657 Broadway, Lorain, OH 44052. Please indicate how you would like your name to appear in our published donor lists.

A mid-winter walk to school can be perilous for children in northeast Ohio, and it was that peril that inspired the creation of the Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-A-Child program.

Rhea Soper Eddy was a journalist at The Journal, precursor to The Morning Journal, when she started the program in 1924.

In the 92 years since the program launched, volunteer shoppers have taken under-resourced children between the ages of 4 to 16 to stores to buy the warm coats, clothes and boots they need to keep them safe in the weather.

Linda Batozynski is the Clothe-A-Child coordinator at The Morning Journal. After nine years leading the program, she sees the importance it has to the community.

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“This program is so desperately needed in our area,” she said. “It makes a big difference to a lot of kids, because they only have shoes, they don’t have clothes they need and their parents are low income.”

While on its face, the program may seem like a shopping spree for the children, Batozynski said that the shopping trips are only for necessities.

“This program was designed for school age children that have to go out in the cold to go to school,” she said. “Ages 4 to 16. We only buy things they can wear to school.

“We don’t buy any toys, candy, slippers or pajamas,” she continued. “We buy coats, boots, shoes, underwear, socks, gloves, hats and stuff like that.”

Applications for this year’s program were due Oct. 14. Batozynski reviews each application including the documentation of the family’s need and calls each family. If the family meets the criteria, she schedules a volunteer shopper to take the children shopping.

Batozynski usually sees around 500 children receive fresh winter clothes. This year she’s only received about 400 applications, but that number isn’t indicative of how many will be shopped for this year.

“Some of them have their phones disconnected or they don’t return calls, so it’s hard to pin that down at this point,” she said.

Last year’s campaign saw 456 children being scheduled for the shopping trips before Christmas and another 100 after the holiday.

When looking for volunteer shoppers, Batozynski said that she generally tries to sign up groups rather than individuals.

“It’s easier this way,” she said. “They’re the same groups that have been doing it for years, and they know what they’re doing.”

The volunteer groups come from churches, businesses and schools from across the area. Some of the groups participating this year are Sacred Heart Chapel, Columbia Gas and Norwalk Schools.

Batozynski said that she hasn’t seen an increased need for help this year, but every year she is touched by some of the children’s situations.

“There are large families that are really [in need],” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of it; to help the community. It makes me feel good like I’ve accomplished something.”

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