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The Sun letter to the editor: Sun readers have big hearts when it comes to Warm the Children

Good news, Southtowns: Through your continued support, over 300 local kids, from babies to teens, have received new, warm coats and clothing, since the Warm the Children campaign for 2013 was launched in September. About another 50 children are expected to complete shopping trips this month.

The generous support of readers of The Sun continues to give local families in need the opportunity to shop for brand new outerwear and winter clothes at the Target Department Store in Orchard Park.

“We want readers of The Sun to know how grateful we are,” said Liz Angelbeck, member of the Rotary Club of Hamburg and a coordinator of Warm the Children. “Thank you for your continuing support!”

Warm the Children is in its 18th year based in Hamburg. The program helps youngsters in Hamburg, Angola, Blasdell, Derby, Boston, Eden, North Collins, Lake View, Evans and Brant – the circulation area of The Sun. Children are referred to the program through 18 local schools, five churches, four preschool programs and six human service agencies.

Since 2007, Warm the Children has been sponsored and coordinated by the Rotary Club of Hamburg, which collects and distributes donated funds to buy clothing for children in need. Rotary set up a foundation for the purpose.

Each child accepted into the program receives new clothing where there is the greatest need: coats, hats, pants, socks and underwear, selected by the parent who is assisted by volunteer shoppers at Target. Children age birth – 3 years receive $50 worth of new clothing, while those age 4 – 18 receive $80 worth. As of Nov. 22, $16,722 had been donated to Warm the Children, compared to $8,245 at the same time last year, according to Tim Hoelscher, CPA, treasurer. “Most of these donations came from our faithful supporters from last year who once again stepped up,” Hoelscher said.

All donations go directly to purchase clothing for children. “Every cent donated to Warm the Children goes toward the purchase of children’s clothing. There are no administrative costs, as Hamburg Rotary members do all coordination with assistance from Evans Bank,” Angelbeck said. While all donations in any amount are gratefully accepted, Rotary requests that donors consider sponsoring one or more children by making a donation of $50 for a younger child or $80 for a child age 4 – 18.

Following a recent shopping trip to Target, an appreciative mother sent a heartfelt thank you to Rotary and Warm the Children. In part, it reads: “I’m so grateful for what you have done. It’s amazing how you have volunteers to take time out of their busy schedules to shop with us and take time picking out clothes. I am truly amazed and so very thankful for what you have done to make holidays a little easier, for us.”

Partners in the program include The Sun, which donates free editorial space to aid Rotary in soliciting contributions from its readership and Evans Bank, serving as the program’s fiscal partner. Essential to the success of Warm the Children is the legion of community volunteers, who serve as shoppers.

To donate, please make checks payable to Warm the Children and mail to Evans Bank, 5999 S. Ave., Hamburg, NY 14075. The program winds down at the end of the year, but all donations received will continue to provide for late referrals or seed money for the next season.

Rotary Club of Hamburg
Warm the Children Committee

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