"The children like being a part of something bigger, and Steve's Coats for Kids helps them give to our entire community," Shauna Parks, a school counselor at Highland Mill Montessori School in Charlotte, said.
For the past five years, Highland Mill Montessori School students have collected hundreds of new and gently worn coats for the Steve's Coats for Kids drive. WSOC-TV's Steve's Coats for Kids collects coats for local area children who live in need, and the coats are distributed by Crisis Assistance Ministry.
"This is a community event that we look forward to every year. Highland Mill Montessori is dedicated to giving back to our community that embraces us and our students," Parks said.
Steve's Coats for Kids campaign runs from now until Jan. 19. All coat donations are distributed through Crisis Assistance Ministry, which has been serving the Charlotte area since 1975. An independent non-profit agency, Crisis Assistance Ministry focuses on preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for Charlotte-Mecklenburg's working poor.
Parks encourages other community members to get involved with Crisis Assistance Ministry by donating their time as a volunteer or by donating clothing and household goods.
"In helping others, we are all a part of the community of Charlotte," Parks said. "We plant the seed in our students that giving back is the duty of everyone."
The school will continue to collect coats until its Christmas break. Parks's hope for the community is that every child in Charlotte will have a coat for the winter months ahead.
"We just keep doing what we're doing. It is a critical component in our community to provide coats to children who may be less fortunate and a part of overall wellness for the children in our city," Parks said.
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