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Club collects winter coats for needy

This winter has been one of the harshest in recent memory with temperatures reaching record lows and 20 inches of snow being dumped on Lawrence County since the start of 2014.

Those conditions have led to multiple school closings, but school can’t close everyday.

Sometimes children have to wait out in the cold for the bus. And sometimes those children aren’t dressed for the weather.

However, the Union 4-H Club in Chesapeake did its part to try to make sure every child had proper winter clothing.

“The kids came to me and told me they noticed a lot of kids who didn’t have coats,” said Alicia Spears, adviser of the Union 4-H. “They’re standing out waiting for the buses and they don’t have coats.”

So the group decided it would do a coat drive to ensure the children would have coats, gloves and other items to combat the cold.

“So we asked for some help from the bus drivers,” Spears said. “They see the kids every day and they knew which ones were in need. So they gave us the list, and our group went out and got the coats.”

The coats were passed out anonymously to the children who needed them at the bus garage.

“I wish I could have seen their faces when they got the coats,” sixth grader Katy Spears said. “But we also didn’t want them to feel embarrassed. I feel good knowing that someone who needed a coat got one. That’s what was important. No one has to know who they were.”

The Union 4-H Club is in its 43rd year, although the club took a 15-year hiatus before being revived last year. The children of the Union 4-H vary in age ranging from age 9 to 16.

“Community service is what we all pride ourselves on,” Maggie Ashworth, a sixth grade member said. “I enjoy helping people when I can, and things like the coat drive made us all more appreciative of the things we have.”

The club has more projects planned in the future including an Easter Basket giveaway planned for the residents of the River’s Bend Nursing Home.

For more information about Union 4-H visit the group online at www.facebook.com/union4hclub.