This is me and my brother, Paul. I think we are in Colorado… but I’m not sure. And, my parents don’t remember!
Anyway - while none of us remember this moment, I can say with great certainty (and by looking at my facial expression), I was very thankful for my coat.
Each spring, Our Savior collects coats to give away to kids in our community at our August Back to School Fair. How can something as ordinary as a coat make such a huge difference in the life of a child?
Earlier this week, I caught up with Kristi, our Director of Outreach + Connections and asked her why we are so passionate about coats? Here’s what she shared with me...
Giving away coats started as a partnership! A local community member offered to donate coats and asked us to help distribute them to kids who needed them. We reached out to the Franklin Pierce School District to confirm the need. They responded with a resounding, “yes!”. They were so grateful that we were able to meet this pressing (and very real!) need.
Why are coats so important for kids? Practically, coats are a big ticket item that families put off - especially when they must choose between rent, utilities, and food. So, coats help kids go to school on cold days. Without a coat, kids just won’t go outside - or they’ll layer other clothing just to shiver in the classroom. Coats also help kids feel safe and provide a sense of individual value and worth in something they can call their own. Additionally, providing coats to kids is easier (logistically) than shoes or other clothing because kids can typically wear a coat that is a little big for two years and tend not to be gender or age specific.
How are they distributed? Every August before school starts, families look forward to our Back to School Fair. They arrive early to make sure their children get one before supplies run out. The last few years, supplies were so limited and many children did not receive a coat.
Wow! I learned a lot from Kristi about how important this coat drive is for kids in our community (and their families!).
The need for kids’ coats in our local community is great - and we anticipate it to be even greater this year as we continue to move through the pandemic and towards post-pandemic recovery.
Will you join me donating a coat or a few bucks for a coat?
We have a goal of receiving 450 coats. Last year, we gave out 450 backpacks filled with school supplies but the supply of winter coats was exhausted long before that. So, our goal is to have a coat for each student. You can check out oslc.com/coatdrive for more information and keep tabs on how we are progressing toward 450 coats by April 18.
And, if you want to learn more about coats or how to join one of our outreach teams, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.