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 27 degrees on Sunday, November 13, and where our partner there, Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA), 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 BCPIA 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 208 coats for distribution to their clients in need – and a total of 1,853 youth-size and 950 adult-size coats to our partners in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
In her request for 150 child-size and 50 adult-size winter coats for this year, 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.
“The wonderful coats BCPIA receives are given out to the people of McDowell County as well as through our Family Assistance Pantry which is open to the community,” she said. “Because of our partnership with Americans Helping Americans® kids and adults in need will have a coat to keep them warm throughout the winter.”
Another partner, Lee County Headstart, located in Beattyville, Kentucky, received a total of 298 girls’ and boys’ coats for its students – all of whom live below the federal poverty line, says our program contact person, Sherry Lanham.
“Many of these children are considered homeless because they live with relatives and move from place to place,” explained Sherry. “These families often don’t have enough food or clothes to meet their basic needs.
The children rarely receive new clothes, and the new coats they received from Americans Helping Americans® were a tremendous help and blessing to all.”
Sherry told us of one family which has five children living in the home who had told the home services worker they were very worried about having shoes and coats for the children for the winter.
“And when they got these new coats, it really saved their family and really helped with all their other needs, like food and other warm clothes.
Dyanne reported that the family service worker had told her that all the children had being wearing their coats since the first day they received them.
“We have seen many of them in pictures wearing their coats and the families are so happy.”
And 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.”