Seaford Kiwanis Club delivers winter coats to elementary school students

By Scott Bleile

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, members of the Seaford Kiwanis Club were out delivering warm winter coats to all of the elementary schools in the Seaford School District. The club donated 60 coats to each school for those students that may not have a warm coat for the winter months ahead.

"It is important for children to have a warm coat to get to school," said Fred Glime, Kiwanis Club Community Services chairman. "We will be getting the coats to all the schools, so they can hand them out to those who need the coats. This is our first year with this project."

Members involved with handing out the coats were Glime, Karl Vantine, Jim Shultie Kiwanis Vice-Presidents, Jim Thompson, David Grantz and Doug Figgs.

The club is working with Operation Warm to get the coats to the school. Operation Warm is an organization which started in Kennett Square, Pa. in 1998. According to their website, while driving on the streets of Kennett Square, Dick Sanford encountered a sight; a group of children - coatless - huddled at a bus stop on a cold December morning in 1998.

The sight led Dick to drive to a local department store and purchase every coat in stock.With the help of his local Rotary Club, those 58 coats were given directly to kids in need.

This gesture of kindness inspired the creation of Operation Warm. The first 58 coats were purchased by one man, but the millions of coats since then have been a result of communities united, working together to improve the livelihood of children living in poverty.

"The organization gave a presentation to the club a few weeks ago," said Glime. "We felt it would be a great project for the club to get involved with for the schools. I contacted the four elementary schools in the district and we wound up ordering 198 new coats for the schools. We are delivering them to the school nurses to distribute to those children that don't have a warm coat for the winter. We used the proceeds from our auction earlier this month to purchase the coats."

The National Kiwanis Club was founded in 1915 in Detroit. They now have over 7,000 clubs, 600,000 members in countries worldwide. Their motto is serving the children of the world. The Seaford Club was formed in 1923. They sponsor the Seaford High Key Club, North Dorchester High Key Club and the Seaford Builders Club at the middle school.

Through the Kiwanis Foundation, the club provides three $4,000 scholarships each year to local high school seniors who are going on to college and one $1,000 scholarship to someone going into trades at Delaware Technical and Community College. There are many other groups the club helps: Boys and Girls Club, Seaford Library, Seaford Historical Society, Little League, Salvation Army, SVFD, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Kiwanis Park, Relay for Life, 4H. They are always looking for men and women to become new members.

To learn more about Kiwanis International, visit kiwanis.org.

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