Schools’ winter coat drive goes on through Friday
By Stephanie Johns
The Bundle Up Bulldogs winter coat drive for Morgan County students at the Primary, Elementary, Middle, and High schools ends Friday.
Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) volunteers Erin Garrett and Jenny Arthur spoke about the need for coats, especially for the younger students.
“Primary tends to have the most needs, followed by the Elementary,” Arthur said. “The need is there.”
Both Garrett and Arthur have been with the PTO for the past four years and have assisted with the coat drive since its inception three years ago.
Garrett said that Brandie Anderson began the drive by collecting donated coats from Wal-mart.
“These coats are necessary and important for the kids in our community,” said Garrett. “It’s a great cause.”
Arthur said that while some people may not consider Georgia winters to be cold, the kids have a different experience.
“It is cold, especially at seven o’clock in the morning waiting for a bus,” she said.
Garrett urged people to be “anonymous angels” and donate coats at any of the schools.
Garrett explained that coats are collected at the schools, sorted by Garrett and Arthur, categorized by size and gender, and given to the counselors at the schools.
The counselors in turn go to the teachers and ask who they have that needs a winter coat. Garrett noted that some students have a fleece jacket but that is not enough to counter winter temperatures. Coats are then quietly given to the students in need.
Arthur said that they collected about 50 coats last year. Their goal this year: to double that number.
“The need is there,” she said. “The need is always greater than the coats we collect.”
She added that she and Garrett end up purchasing coats from Wal-mart to ensure each student with a need has a coat.
They collect new or gently used coats ranging from children’s size five to adult.
Arthur said that when every student in a class has a winter coat, teachers see the benefit as well.
“They can bring their whole class outside if everyone has a warm winter coat,” she said. “They say that helps a lot for kid control.”
Printed in the November 15, 2012 edition