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Posted on Sun, Nov 6, 2011 : 6:12 a.m.

Warm the Children has entered its 15th season, and we need your help

By Tony Dearing

This is the time of year when the weather turns cold but hearts in Washtenaw County grow warm. That human concern and compassion is the essential ingredient every fall in our Warm the Children campaign, which kicked off in early October.

Warm the Children is now entering its 15th year locally, and its 23rd year nationally. For 2011, our goal is to serve 3,000 children, and we are seeking to raise $270,000. We deeply appreciate the support that the community has shown this worthy program over the years, and we hope you’ll consider a donation this holiday season. The need is as great as ever.

When you give money to Warm the Children, you get the satisfaction, not just of helping others, but also of knowing that every dollar goes directly to children in need. As in past years, none of the money raised will go to the overhead costs of running the program. One hundred percent of it goes to warm clothing.

Warm the Children provides $90 to each child served for the purchase of winter coats, gloves, hats and other clothing. Children in need are referred by social workers from area schools and social service agencies. A volunteer shopper accompanies each family to ensure that the money is spent wisely and that each child receives items that are most needed to keep warm. We serve children from Washtenaw County and a portion of Livingston County as well.

The local Warm the Children effort was started by The Ann Arbor News, and we continued the program when launched in 2009. The time has passed swiftly and it’s hard to believe we are already in our third Warm the Children fund-raising campaign. Once again this year, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and United Bank & Trust are partnering with us to carry out the program, and we thank them for their ongoing support. We could not do this without them.

One of the great ways that people in the community engage with this program is by serving as volunteer shoppers. We now have shoppers who have served for years, and they tell touching stories about their experiences. We are looking for additional volunteer shoppers. If you’re interested in participating, you can go to to find a volunteer shopper registration form.

If you don’t have the time or interest to be one of our shoppers, we would welcome your donation. No amount is too small - or large. We raise our funds from readers, businesses and community members, and the amounts they give range from 25 cents to thousands of dollars. Since the inception of the local program, more than $2.5 million has been raised, and more than 23,000 children have been served.

There are many easy ways to give. You can do so online by visiting the same web page that is listed above for volunteer shoppers. You also can make a donation in person by visiting any United Bank & Trust branch in Washtenaw County, or you can mail a donation to Warm the Children, c/o United Bank & Trust, PO Box 1127, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1127.

Throughout the year you can also visit our Community Space at 301 E. Liberty St. in downtown Ann Arbor and make a donation when you buy a cup of coffee. The coffee is donated by local brewers, and all proceeds go to Warm the Children. This season, Mountain Country Coffee has graciously donated all of the coffee for the 2011 Warm the Children campaign season.

If you are looking for a way to make a difference in the life of someone else during the upcoming holiday season, a gift to Warm the Children offers that opportunity. The amount you give will be equaled by the warmth you feel in knowing that you’ve contributed to a good cause.

(This editorial was published in today's newspaper and reflects the opinion of the Editorial Board at


David Martel

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 6:13 p.m.

jns131 – You are correct that's Warm the Children program is set up to provide new warm winter clothing for children in need. This program not only provides new clothing, but also the experience of shopping for it. While the dollar may go further in a second-hand retail location or by accepting used clothing donations, these clothes can sometimes represent the only new clothing a child has ever worn. Our experience tells us that providing this opportunity can be priceless. We strongly encourage those that have used clothing to donate to please do so through the variety of local organizations that are set up to collect and re-distribute these valuable items. A list of these organizations can be found at: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> If you have further questions about the Warm the Children program, please feel free to contact me at - David Martel, Marketing Director


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 4:17 a.m.

We lived off used and donated clothing. There is nothing wrong with this and if you are of need then used clothing should suffice. If you want new? Then go out and buy it yourself. I feel that getting money from organizations to give new clothing to the poor is completely and out right wrong. Sorry but I stand behind what I say about this organization. Go to a second hand store and get it. When you can afford new? Then do it. In this economy? Must be nice to be Donald Trump and get something for nothing.


Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

Mr.Tony Dearing We have been a supporter of Warm The Children when it started by AA News. I thank you for keep it going. Children do not want used coats even it may be brand new, they like going to Meijers to pick them up to their liking. Wnters can be brutal here in Michigan, please help..


Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

They only want new stuff. We have barely worn but new looking winter coats and they won't take them. Salvation Army will. Just a thought when it comes to this ungrateful charity organization.