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Posted on Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Warm The Children effort ramps up as temperatures fall

By Angela Smith

Every year, hundreds of people in the Ann Arbor area open their hearts and their wallets to children in need by participating in a program called Warm The Children.

This cooperative effort between and the community it serves provides new winter clothing to kids who might otherwise go without.

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Together with hundreds of individuals, service groups, and organizations, two key partners - the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and United Bank and Trust - contribute generously to the program.

This season, as a community, we will work toward a goal of raising $250,000 and serving 3,000 kids.

A commitment to integrity makes this program special. All overhead costs are covered by, so every dollar donated is a dollar that is spent in our community on clothing for local children.

These children do not receive serviceable hand-me-downs. They do not dig through bins of irregular and overstocked items. They go to a store with their families, and a volunteer personal shopper, to buy $90 worth of new winter items. These 3,000 children will have the opportunity to choose warm clothing that they will want to wear all winter long.

There are a number of ways that you can help:

  • Donate. If you would like to contribute to Warm the Children, you can mail in the form printed in the newspaper, visit, or call the Warm The Children hotline at 734-623-2525. Donations are also accepted at any United Bank and Trust branch in Washtenaw County.
  • Volunteer. You can give in a meaningful way even if you cannot afford to support the effort financially. Warm The Children works with volunteers who offer their time as personal shoppers to assist the recipient families. Each year, receives many notes and phone calls sharing stories of gratitude from recipients and volunteer shoppers alike. Sharing in the joy of the children and their parents has become a cherished winter tradition for many of the volunteers who help the families with their purchases. If you have an hour or two to help out with this effort, contact Warm The Children via the hotline, Web site, or coupon listing below.
  • Spread the word. Do you know a family that could benefit from this program? Participation is based on need, and referrals are given through school and community social workers. Do you know of a group that is looking for a special way to give back to the community this season? Suggest they create an event to raise funds for Warm The Children.

We all want to give to people in need in a way that feels meaningful. As winter approaches, you can help by fulfilling this basic need for financially stressed families in our communities.


Nicole Williams

Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

Mrs Smith...I'm ineed of help with get my kids winter coats but my kids school do not do warm the children and i dont know wher i can sign up at, you please tell me how of where i can go...Thank you nicole

Angela Smith

Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

Hi Nicole, You can start by contacting the hotline number above. Someone will be able to talk with you about what other local agencies are able to offer help -- including referrals to this program. ~angela


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

How about a not-so-hidden message to a child: "You're worth this, and more."


Sun, Oct 21, 2012 : 5:25 a.m.

How about a not so arrogant message that says to a child "you're worth so much that we want to get you as many warm clothes as we can to get you through the winter with the money we have to spend".


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

"These children do not receive serviceable hand-me-downs. They do not dig through bins of irregular and overstocked items. They go to a store with their families, and a volunteer personal shopper, to buy $90 worth of new winter items." It's this arrogant, snobbish attitude that says used clothing is somehow not as good as brand new clothes which costs far more, and in effect sends the hidden message that those who wear used clothing are beneath those who buy theirs brand new, that is the very reason I refuse to donate to such a cause as this.

Angela Smith

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Sue, I too am a fan of hand-me-downs, resales, and reusing clothing. Sometimes hand-me-down used clothing is the best way to go. But giving a child new winter clothing with buttons and zippers in tact -- that will be able to be handed down or reused -- can be a great use of our community dollars, no snobbery about it.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

This is a generous program with true LOCAL benefit. I have given happily since its inception, but always wondered who designed the simple but oh so appealing logo - can't look at it without swallowing hard and reaching for the checkbook. Can anyone provide info?

Angela Smith

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

I'll look into that, Arborani, good question!


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

This has always been one of my favorite charitable efforts. It is troubling how many children in the area are without adequate warm clothing during the winter months. It is also relatively easy to help. One could take the initiative to take up a collection in the workplace or amongst their social group(s). We have even made donations in lieu of gifts during the holidays. Thank you for continuing this worthy cause.