column: Top 5 reasons to support Warm the Children before the year ends
As we wrap up the 2012 Warm the Children campaign, we find donations are in need of one final boost. Please consider contributing to this worthy cause before the year comes to an end. Here are five reasons to consider doing so:
- Your donation goes straight to community families. Warm the Children is a national program whose local efforts are sponsored by AnnArbor.com. With help from area school officials and local social agencies, AnnArbor.com identifies 3,000, (yes 3,000) needy children in our community and provides their names and contact information to local coordinators. The coordinators make arrangements with local Target stores, and assign volunteer shoppers to take families shopping for their winter clothing. Each child receives approximately $90 worth of new winter clothing.
- Your donation covers basic needs and does so with dignity. The families get to select the new warm clothes their children are in need of. “These families and these kids deserve this,” says Cheryl Elliott, president and CEO of Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. “A lot of these families have used or older items, and there is nothing wrong with any child getting something new that fits right. (Warm the Children) tells them they are respected and they are worthy."
- Your donation is 100 percent tax deductible. The overhead costs associated with managing this effort are covered by AnnArbor.com. Every dime donated is given to the children, and is used toward these charitable efforts. Contributions can be made anonymously, or in recognition of someone. Donations can be collected by a company, group, or individual, and will be gratefully accepted through the end of the year.
- Warm the Children is a chance to be active in our community. Looking back on the year, and even looking back on the last week, we're compelled to reach out to our own communities. I love the quote I've seen posted in the last days. It's being attributed to Mr. Rogers: "In times of tragedy, look for the helpers. They are always there." I look forward to opportunities to support the Newtown community in coming weeks, but even today we can help our own communities in so many ways big and small. Warm the Children is one example. Beyond monetary contributions, Warm the Children also seeks out volunteer shoppers.
- Warm the Children is short of its goal, and actively seeking donors. This year’s fundraising goal is the same as last year: $250,000. Donations are at a decline, even though need is growing. “For over a decade the community has embraced this program and donated generously. We are still in great need, and there is still time to give,” says Jill Tewsley, an AnnArbor.com employee and coordinator for Warm the Children. The money collected this year funds next year’s efforts. If this year’s goals are not met, it may impact the number of children who are served in the winter of 2013.
Every donation is accepted with gratitude, and it couldn't be easier to give. You can mail in the form printed in the newspaper, go to the form here, or call the Warm the Children hotline at 734-623-2525. Donations also are accepted at any United Bank and Trust branch in Washtenaw County.
If your business or organization is looking for a special way to give back to the community this holiday season, consider supporting Warm the Children. We would love to hear about innovative ways local groups raise funds for this worthy cause.