Let’s raise the bar for Warm the Children

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

With the first bite of winter upon us, all those children who gleefully chose their new, warm winter clothes at the Warm the Children distribution shop at the Fairgrounds back in September are no doubt now putting them on. Approximately 1,250 needy children are sporting colorful hats and mittens, brightly-hued jackets, boots and other warm ware that is keeping them toasty and stylish.

It all happens thanks to Franklin County’s seemingly bottomless fount of generosity.

Keeping a running total of the checks is the Greenfield Recorder’s Kelsey Surmick, in accounts payable/receivable, who feels a kinship with donors she has “met” only as names on checks that pass across her desk.

Surmick says, “Something I’ve noticed in handling the donations for the last five years is you see the same people donating every year. Even though I’ve never met them, you feel like you know them because you see their names so often. One contributor would donate $20 to $50 every few weeks from October to December. She passed away this year and her friends donated to Warm the Children in her memory.

“Again, I never met her, but it was touching to see,” said Surmick. “Some people send notes with their donation about how Warm the Children helped them years ago and they’re trying to keep that cycle of help going.”

So far this fall, at about the half-way point in the active portion of this year-round fund drive, Surmick reports that donations are at $46,425.49, including $2,810 last week alone. That puts us about half-way toward reaching our goal of $90,000.

Yet even that goal does not guarantee that every deserving family gets to “go shopping” at the fairgrounds for their children.

That’s why we are urging new donors to become new “regulars” by adding Warm the Children to their seasonal charity, and to help us surpass our $90,000 goal.

One mother picking out clothes at this year’s fairgrounds store recalled a time when she was growing up and didn’t have winter clothes because her parents were struggling. She didn’t want her children to have memories like that. Every parent, and those without children, can sympathize with that story.

To donate to Warm the Children, send a check to: Warm the Children, c/o The Recorder, P.O. Box 1367, Greenfield, MA 01302. New clothing may also be dropped off at the Greenfield Recorder at 14 Hope St. any time.