Members of the Rotary Club of Hamburg and the Town of Hamburg Lions Club are extremely grateful to the many donors who helped allow the Warm the Children program to assist approximately 370 needy children in acquiring new winter clothing.
The community-wide project, now in its 20th year  in the Southtowns region of Western New York, helps to make a difference in the lives of children because 100 percent of contributions received from donors go toward the purchase of new clothing for children in need. With the two service clubs assuming all administrative expenses and club volunteers handling coordination of the program, needy families from more than 40 different schools, churches and human service agencies were assisted thanks to the generosity of community minded individuals.
The thank you sentiments that have been received are too numerous to list, which includes correspondence not only from families who have benefited from the program but also from volunteer shoppers who assist the needy families in selecting their new clothing items at the Sears department store at the McKinley Mall in Hamburg. Some of the highlights include the following:
“I would like to send out a very heartfelt thank you to all who are involved in Warm The Children! It was so very kind and generous of you to include our family in this wonderful program, which allowed us to get new coats, boots and gloves for the coming winter!”
“My son is at college now. I think of how young he was when he first started volunteering for this program. My little shopper is now 18. I am happy to report the seed of volunteering that was started with Warm The Children is going strong. He is already looking into the Peace Corps, has done the day of caring at Brockport College with a German Shepherd Rescue Group, and is volunteering with the International Institute and a refugee center in Buffalo on winter and summer break. I’m very proud of him and thought you’d like to know that not only does this program help families but can also inspire the volunteers.”
“We had a great day shopping yesterday. I was so impressed with Sears and the help we received from their sales staff. Everyone was incredibly generous and the parent seemed really pleased with the clothing. It was beyond amazing!”
The program, which assists youngsters from the towns of Hamburg, Evans, Eden, Boston, Brant and North Collins, has been sponsored and coordinated by the Rotary Club of Hamburg since 2007. This year marks the second campaign involving a partnership with the Town of Hamburg Lions Club to ensure this important community service is provided. Donations were collected and distributed to help families who were referred by local schools, churches and social service agencies purchase brand new clothing, with every dollar donated going directly to the youngsters in need.
Along with generous patrons from the community and the program’s volunteer shoppers, Warm The Children’s other collaborative partner was Evans Bank, which serves as the program’s fiscal partner. The program is guided along throughout the year by a committee made up of members of the Rotary Club of Hamburg and the Town of Hamburg Lions Club, a dedicated group of volunteers that includes Rotarians Elizabeth Angelbeck, Earl Knauss, Tim Hoelscher, Eileen Hotho and Barb Stanley, Lion Dan Meyer and volunteer Cheryl Koelmel.
For anyone in the community who would still like to contribute to the Warm The Children program to ensure the community service continues to help those in need, donations can be made by sending a check payable to “Warm The Children Fund,” c/o Evans Bank, 5999 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY 14075.