Joplin Crosslines calls on community for coat donations

Kids coats in especially high demand

The cold weather comes at a cost for parents, struggling to keep their kids in coats through the wintry days ahead.

“It’s hard because they grow at different paces. If you’ve got more than one child, then you have multiple coats and they don’t always transfer from one year to the next, especially if they’re a girl and a boy,” said April Anderson, owner of Inchworm Academy, a pre-school and daycare in Joplin.

After years of working in child care, Anderson understands that colder months can bring on extra financial hardships for families.

“I’ve seen some parents over the years that have had to decide, you know, to cut back a little bit on the food, which you hate to hear that, but it’s true, to buy their kids coats.”

“It was full, and then it emptied pretty quick…and, as you can see now, it’s pretty thin,” said Rodney Rambo with Crosslines, describing the winter inventory.

Dropping temperatures and a decline in donations leaves the kids coat rack sparse at Crosslines where officials say warm clothing goes fast.

“In years past, we’ve had more folks that were interested in doing things like coat drives, and things like that, yeah, we just haven’t had that this year. So we’re a little short compared to where we’re usually at,” explained Rambo.

Buying a new coat can be costly, and the timing doesn’t help either.

“At the very low end, you’re talking $30 probably up to $75-80, and so that’s just a significant expense during a time of year where utilities have gone up significantly. It’s getting cold, and people are trying to get ready for the holidays,” said Rambo.

To fill the gap, Crosslines is hoping the community will step up with coats for both kids and adults, something Anderson supports.

“Get out there and get those coats donated to Crosslines. If you’ve got one, take it to Crosslines as soon as you can. These kids really need coats and they need to keep warm.”

Crosslines helps over 1,900 people every month with clothing, food, rent and utilities.

If you have coats to donate, you can drop them off during regular hours at 320 School Ave., Joplin, Mo.

Any local businesses or churches interested in helping with a coat drive should contact Crosslines at 417-782-8384.


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