As October begins and brings ever closer the holiday season, The Tullahoma News is once again seeking assistance from the community to give children in need a happy and warm winter.
The annual Karing for Kids campaign, now in its 23rd year, helps 200 local children shop for and purchase warm winter clothing with donated funds from the community and volunteer manpower.
With their winter necessities taken care of by the community, the children’s parents can focus their holiday budgets on more fun things their tots may have on their Christmas wish lists.
Each year teachers at the four Tullahoma elementary schools nominate around 50 students to receive the needed winter weather gear, such as warm coats and new shoes.
With a $20,000 fundraising goal, Karing for Kids Program Coordinator Debbie Wimsatt said each child would be able to receive $100 to spend on their new clothes.
Last year’s Karing for Kids brought in just over $30,000 with the help of the annual Dustin Lynch and Friends Benefit Concert, according to Wimsatt. The added funds allowed for each child to receive an extra $50 with which to buy their clothes.
“We made our goal by nine dollars, and then Dustin Lynch gave us $10,000, so every child ended up with $150 to spend,” Wimsatt said.
This year’s fundraising goal is still $20,000, according to Wimsatt, with the idea being every child spending $100 on their new threads.
The shopping trip will take place at one of four local clothing stores on Monday, Dec. 3. The participating stores are JCPenney, Peebles, Burke’s Outlet and Walmart, according to Wimsatt.
Following the shopping trip, the children are treated to a pizza party, thanks to donations from Coca-Cola, Domino’s and Papa John’s Pizza, Wimsatt said. They also get to have their pictures taken with Santa at the mall, she said.
The annual shopping spree is not complete without the help of volunteers, Wimsatt said.
Last year saw over 200 volunteers take the children on their shopping sprees, she said.
Those volunteers were coordinated with the help of Valerie Robinson, the business teacher and faculty sponsor of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) at Tullahoma High School.
While FBLA has helped every year, Wimsatt said, last year saw the club “really take the reins” on the volunteer front, for which Wimsatt was grateful.
Robinson is once again coordinating all the volunteers for Karing for Kids, Wimsatt said, so anyone wanting to help with the Dec. 3 shopping trip should contact Robinson at the high school. The phone number for THS is 454-2620.
How to donate
Karing for Kids is a nonprofit organization, meaning all donations are tax deductible. Receipts for donations are available upon request.
Donations may be dropped off in person at The News office, located at 505 Lakeway Place, or mailed to P.O. Box 400, Tullahoma TN 37388. Donations may be made anonymously by request.
Donors’ names will appear in forthcoming issues of The Sunday News.
Erin McCullough may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.