Winter is not just coming, but it has already arrived in the mountains of Appalachia where the low temperature in the small town of War, in McDowell County, West Virginia is predicted to drop to 22 degrees on Monday, November 22, and where our partner there, Big Creek People in Action, is hoping to be able to distribute hundreds of winter coats provided by Americans Helping Americans® in early December.
“Families served through our in-kind donations of winter coats are very appreciative of what they receive to help them live a more comfortable life and obtain the necessities they likely may not have otherwise,” says Big Creek People in Action co-executive director Dyanne Spriggs.
Last year, thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, we were able to provide the small local organization with 200 coats for distribution to their clients in need.
“We provided a way for families to get winter coats without them having to drive out of the county,” reported Dyanne. “Since the local Walmart and Magic Mart stores have closed – the only two department stores in the county – there is no place nearby for them to purchase winter coats for their children, even if they had the money to do so.”
Dyanne explained, “When families are struggling to pay their normal monthly bills, they usually don’t have the money left to buy their children new coats. Also, the local elementary school calls us a few times a year to ask whether we have any coats on hand because there are students arriving at school with just a light jacket on even when it’s freezing outside.”
Thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® Dyanne has been able to accommodate their request with a few coats that they hold back following their coat distribution for situations just as this.
Crystal, a mother of three of received coats for each of her children last year from Big Creek People in Action, told us, “I am so glad to be able to get my winter coats here. They had all outgrown theirs.”
This year, we are hopeful that we will once again be able to fulfill their request of 150 child-size coats for the youngsters and 50 adult-size coats for teenage youth, as well as granting the requests for 1,800 more coats from our partners in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“Our in-kind program is unique because we are the only nonprofit organization in our area which offers such help to families,” added Dyanne. “Many of their needs would go unmet if we didn’t partner with Americans Helping Americans® which is dedicated to helping those in need in our community.
“We would not have the funds to purchase the coats we receive and distribute to our families. These children would go without winter coats if we did not receive the support that we do from Americans Helping Americans®.
“We appreciate your generous support of our grassroots organization and the people who we serve.”