At a time when most people are concerned with receiving gifts, Coats for Kendall is encouraging the fortunate to give back to those in need. The event will take place through February.
Oswego’s Rotary Club, the sponsor of the coat drive, is an organization dedicated to improving the human condition in the community as well as around the world.
For this specific event, they have different donation boxes in various Oswego schools and businesses where people can drop off coats, gloves, and other winter gear. The items will then be distributed to the Kendall County Food Pantry. The Rotary Club is also in touch with school nurses who are able to alert the organization if they think a student could make use of the donated clothing.
Rotary Club President Jennifer Jones Sinnott said it takes a community to successfully carry out an initiative such as this one.
“Everyone as a community pulls together to make something happen in regards to donating and giving back to the community to those who are unfortunate and in need,” Sinnott said.
Care Closet coordinator Stephanie Krzeminski said she agrees that there’s value in assisting others.
The Care Closet is available to the school’s students who may be in need of essential items, such as school supplies, frozen food, and clothes.
According to Krzeminski, the Care Closet services more than 30 students throughout the school.
“It breaks my heart knowing that I have the means and ability to help someone,” Krzeminski said. “I don’t want students or their families to have to go without when it can be as simple as just organizing something.”
Junior Alaina Hyland plans to donate a few of her coats from middle school. She discussed the importance of projects that give back.
“I think it’s really cool what they’re doing for the community. During this time of year, it’s important to think about the people in your area that might need extra help,” Hyland said.
Along with the coat drive, Rotary Club has organized include an annual duck race and donations to hurricane victims. They also participate in worldwide projects, including joining the fight against polio.
“What I hope is that as far as a community reaction, people realize there are people who care,” Krzeminski added, referring to both the Care Closet and the Rotary Club initiative. “That they’re not only worthy of those things, but there are systems out there to ensure that you can get what you need. I’m happy to see that our school is one of those places.”
Donations can be dropped off at District 308 schools, the Oswego Village Hall, and the Oswegoland Park District. The Rotary Club will collect coats, scarves, hats, gloves, and mittens through the end of February.
Lucy Weiher is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl