It’s been pretty cold out there, hasn’t it? As a mom, I spend an extra ten minutes bundling up my two kids in jackets to make sure they’re warm enough for the subzero temperatures.

Let me rephrase that. I wake up in a warm house, with a pantry full of food and dress my kids who have no worries about where their next meal will come from so that my husband and I can go to our more-than-providing-for-us jobs that leave us a little extra in the bank every month after we drop them off at school and daycare.

So when you’re spending the holidays in a homeless shelter with your family, warm winter gear for your kids can absolutely mean the world to you.

A few incredible Racinians spent the past month collecting new and used coats for the men, women and children of HALO and delivered them Monday.

These are the kids who sit next to your kids in school. The parents who might work with you but go home to HALO every night. Working hard to get back on a track to self-sufficiency.

To Chris Bogan, Youth Development Professional at the Racine Family YMCA, it’s personal. He is the son of a single mom who worked hard to raise him and his siblings. He came up with the idea 4 years ago and has partnered with Mettie Claybrook from the Caron Butler Foundation and Claire Weslaski of Image Management. “Growing up, my family and I had it hard. I would have benefitted from an initiative like this back when I was a kid. I could see myself in the eyes of the kids we gave coats to at HALO,” Bogan shared.

The trio received additional sponsorship and donations from DeltaHawk, YWCA and Berkshire Hathaway.  Weslaski said they were able to collect enough jackets from the public and funds provided by Image Management to purchase an additional $800 in new coats, snow pants, hats and gloves for every child.

Find a need, fill a need. We’re blessed to have folks like Bogan, Claybrook and Weslaski in our community.

If you’d like to help, there are 26 children in need of boots to trek through the white stuff that keeps on coming. They’d appreciate any new or used boots you have (adults too!). Nothing goes to waste.

If you’re interested in donating, you can contact HALO directly at (262) 633-3235.

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