Warm the Children seeks applicants


Readers: This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday to correct that the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless is a sponsor of Warm the Children.

BENNINGTON — A local campaign is returning this fall to help families who otherwise wouldn't be able to buy warm clothing for their children.

Families who need help buying warm winter clothing have until next Friday to apply for Warm the Children. Applications can be picked up and dropped off at the Banner offices at 425 Main St.

Organizer Lisa Shea said volunteer shoppers are also being sought to accompany families at JC Penney in Bennington.

The local Warm the Children campaign has existed since 1994. It's organized by the Bennington Banner, Shea Familiy Funeral Homes and the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless. Partners include JC Penney, which offers a 25 percent discount to shoppers who are qualified, and numerous donors who raise money all year round.

Volunteer shoppers are responsible for arranging a time to meet with families at JC Penney to take them shopping. Typically, children pick out some combination of items including a new winter jacket, snow pants, undershirts, underwear and socks.

There's a vetting process to ensure only the families with the highest needs receive help, Shea said. There's no overhead or administrative costs for the campaign because she, Banner staff and other volunteers give their time.

"It's great because it means 100 percent of all donations go towards purchasing clothes for children," Shea said.

Shea said it's important that families follow the rules and guidelines on the application. Families should put reliable contact information and complete every field — incomplete applications won't be reviewed.

Applications must be returned to the Banner office by Friday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. Donations can be made to the program at the Banner office anytime year-round. All checks should be made payable to Warm the Children.

Reach staff writer Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.


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