Girl with coatShorter days and a chill in the air are sure signs that cold winter days will soon be here. Unfortunately, not everyone will be ready for its arrival.  With poverty reaching an all-time high in the U.S., more children than ever are at risk of not having proper winter clothing, meaning they sometimes may need to stay home from school.  In Chicago, 200,000 children live in poverty, plus another 180,000 in the rest of the metro area, some living on the North Shore.

For the fourth year, our club will again provide new winter coats to area children living in households with limited financial resources. These coats will allow children to go to school with pride and ready to learn and partake in recess on cold Chicago winter days.
ImageThe club will provide new coats to Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook for its annual Holiday Gift program which provides gifts to children from 500 local low income families each December.  In recent years, this program has provided hundreds of children with new winter coats- one of the most frequently requested gifts. Members of the club will also participate as volunteer gift wrappers in mid to late December, when thousands of gifts are individually wrapped and made ready to make for a happy holiday in hundreds of households who would otherwise go wanting.
 
ImageThe club will also provide coats to Inner City Impact, an agency that has served the inner city of Chicago since 1972. Committed staff reach kids ages 5 – 18 in some of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods -- Humboldt Park, Logan Square, and Cicero. Programs include after school clubs, summer and winter camp adventures, and leadership development and sports leagues engage the kids in wholesome activities. 

ImageFinally, coats will be provided to children served by the Jewish Council for Youth Services, an independent, not-for-profit agency dedicated to serving both Chicagoland's Jewish and greater communities and developing leaders who continue its tradition of volunteer service. Embracing Jewish values and culture, JCYS provides educational and recreational programs that nurture individual growth and promote responsibility to others.

ImageThe club will acquire high quality new coats from Operation Warm; a Rotarian founded non-profit company focused on providing new winter coats to children throughout the U.S.  This year, 200,000 children will receive Operation Warm coats; bringing the total to 1 million children served since their start in 1998.  Operation Warm makes coats available to service organizations and groups, schools and non-profits serving the poor at wholesale like pricing.

The club is accepting donations from local citizens and businesses who would like to help.  Each $20 donation provides a child in need with a new winter coat.  Tax deductible donations may be sent to Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation, 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka IL 60093, or via PayPal by clicking here.

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