JOPLIN, Mo. — If you know someone struggling to get supplies for their kids during the pandemic, there is a solution. Bright Futures Joplin is helping students and their families.
Larry Warren, Board President, Bright Futures Joplin, said, “When it comes to the kids and the community people just can’t say no. And they got big hearts. The way that the community has rallied around this program made it what it is today has been phenomenal .”
Bright Futures Joplin is having a coat drive through mid-November to help families in need. Since the start of the pandemic, the program has been busy asking for donations and sending them out to Joplin schools. For example, they had a successful hygiene drive last week to help kids that don’t have access to those items.
Sarah Coyne, Coordinator, Bright Futures Joplin, said, “You know there are families right now who are really struggling because of the pandemic. They might be put of work they might be between jobs they might be really having a hard time and we want those families to know we are here for them and their kids.”
The program serves over 7,000 students in Joplin schools and their goal is to meet needs through donating school supplies, clothes, shoes, and food.
“The need for coats has really stepped up right now as you can tell the Winter weather has arrived and there are a lot of kids, if they had a coat last year it probably doesn’t fit them any more. As we all know kids grow so fast and it’s kinda hard for some families to keep up with that need.”
Bright Futures Joplin is asking for lightly used jackets or new jackets in all sizes.
“We would love to be able to fill our shelves with coats that can fit our kids in all sizes from our littlest preschoolers to our biggest high school students. I don’t think many people are aware that some of our biggest needs come from our high school students and so they need warm winter weather a lot of them are walking to school, riding there bikes walking to and from jobs to help support there families.”
“You know a coat to a kid is so important for several reasons the obvious point is to keep them warm but the other part of it is, you don’t realize how hard it is for a kid when he walks into a classroom without a coat on and somebody says ‘where’s your coat” and they have to say ‘I don’t have one.’ It’s just heart breaking and in this day and age it shouldn’t happen and so we are trying to fix that,” said Warren.
Coats can be dropped off at the Memorial Education Center near 8th and Pearl in Joplin until November 16th.