By: Kalie Date: 11/17/2015

Winter is coming. For some of us, that thought causes us to cringe as we anticipate scraping ice off of our windshields, shoveling snow from driveways and sidewalks, and of course the dreaded morning struggle of getting out of a warm, toasty bed. But for others, winter is a truly terrifying time as we wonder how to afford a heating bill or how to stay warm when standing at a bus stop.

Every year from November until February, AWC provides winter items to clients in our programs. Each client is able to shop for a winter coat, pair of boots, gloves, hat and scarf for each member of her family. Last year, AWC provided 38 scarves, 67 pairs of boots, 103 pairs of gloves, 201 hats, and 356 coats to our clients and their families.

Last November, I remember going shopping with one of my clients, a hard-working single mother of six children. She was new to AWC and was surprised and excited when I told her about the winter items she could choose from in our garage. Together, we sorted through the bins and racks searching for the right sizes for each of the kids. We finally found coats for all six of the children, and three of the coats were brand new and still had tags on them! My client looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I can’t believe this. I could never afford brand new winter coats for my kids.” After she left, I couldn’t stop thinking about how hard it must be to not be able to give your children things like a new winter coat.

Unfortunately, this year we have had a shortage of winter item donations. At this moment, every coat we have received is already out in the garage… and they won’t last long. We are in desperate need of more donations of winter coats, boots, gloves, hats, and scarves. If you are able to help, you can drop off items whenever we are open (see our Contact page for hours).

Winter is a tough season for all of us. However, the amazing thing about being in a community is that we don’t have to go through hard times alone. At AWC, our focus is meeting people’s needs. Sometimes our clients need us to sit with them and hear their story. Other times they need education and encouragement in order to change generational patterns in their life. But sometimes, our clients need us to help them in the most tangible way – by giving them material items like a warm winter coat, a hat, a scarf, and a pair of gloves.