MEIGS COUNTY — Through the collaborative effort of many individuals and agencies, children in Meigs County will have new coats this winter.
The coats were provided by Operation Warm, through grant funding secured by Governor Mike DeWine’s Office of Faith Based and Community Services. Commissioner Randy Smith and Trinity Congregational Church, where Smith is the pastor, worked with the Office of Faith Based and Community Services to bring the coats to children in Meigs County. Faith partners, non-profits, civic groups, and others were able to apply for winter coats for youth in need.
Partnering with Trinity Congregational Church allowed for one application to serve school age children in the whole county. Smith worked with county schools to identify the students who were in need and the schools will distribute the coats once delivered. The group received nearly 500 coats for area children.
“This was an amazing opportunity and I knew my congregation at Trinity would jump at the chance to help” said Smith. “As a bigger picture this isn’t just about keeping students warm. I see it as helping to improve self-confidence, peer acceptance, school attendance, and the overall wellness of our students. Every child, regardless of economic circumstance, deserves their own brand-new coat,” Smith continued.
“We all know how cold the weather can get here in this part of the state and the reality is that winter coats are expensive and not everyone has the means to provide coats for their kids,” said Smith.
According to it’s website, Operation Warm provides warmth, confidence, and hope to children in need through the gift of brand new winter coats. A brand new coat offers a child physical and emotional warmth, the confidence to socialize and succeed, and hope of a brighter future.
Operation Warm is a national organization that began in 1998 when founder, Dick Sanford, purchased 58 coats for local kids in eastern Pennsylvania. Since then, we have expanded to cover all of North America and have provided a gift of warmth to over 3 million children. Last year, the organization served 405,000 children across the US and Canada.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.