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Academy gives out clothing

Children helped by local, state partnership

SOUTH POINT — On Thursday, Dec. 11, the Lawrence County Early Childhood Academy in collaboration with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization (CAO), the Governor’s office, Backpack Buddies and the Pajama Program had “Operation Warm,” where coats, jerseys and pajamas were given out to less fortunate children and their families in the county.

“We felt like we have so many families and children in Lawrence County that are below the poverty line,” Phyllis Newman, family and community engagement manager at the Lawrence County Early Childhood Academy, said. “When children enroll in our program, part of our services is a family partnership agreement. We set goals of things such as clothes, toys, education and food. This time of year, food and clothing are what most of our families are in need of.”

There were 101 coats, donated by the CAO and the Governor’s office, given out to the 52 families at the Head Start administrative office in South Point. The Pajama Program gave out pajamas and the Backpack Buddies gave out collegiate jerseys.

“They didn’t know that they were getting jerseys and pajamas with the coats,” Newman said. “They were all so appreciative.”

Next year, there are plans to make the event even bigger and have more items.

“We are hoping to add socks, shoes and gloves next year,” Newman said. “Some of the children we saw were in need of some of those things.”

Newman feels glad to be able to help people in need.

“It’s a warm feeling knowing that you are helping families, especially children, this time of year,” she said. “Not only myself, but family advocates who work with our families on a regular basis were the ones who put this event together. All of the effort and coordination that went into it was well worth it when we saw the smiles on the children’s faces and how happy their parents were.”