Each year, the need among children in our community grows greater; and each year, Adena Health System’s caregivers step up to meet that need. Nearly 1,200 local children were presented to Adena’s annual Coats for Kids drive as being in need of a winter coat this year. Thanks to the generosity of Adena caregivers, every one of those 1,200 kids will have a brand new coat to keep them warm.
“Aside from Adena caregivers buying coats, and several cash donations by some of our physicians, we also received generous donations from Chillicothe’s Newcomer Group and Active USA,” said one of the drive’s organizers, Josh Detillion. “All of the donations were greatly appreciated.”
Students at Tiffin Elementary School, located in Chillicothe, had a need for 120 coats this year. Tiffin Principal Todd Shoemaker said he is thankful for Adena’s Coats for Kids program, and the Health System’s commitment to the children of our community. “When students are just trying to have their basic needs met, it is much harder for them to learn,” he said.
He also shared a story from one of a very appreciative mother. “For many of our students Christmas is a tough time of year,” said Shoemaker. “We had a parent of three young students who thanked us for the coats saying, ‘Now I can buy my kids REAL Christmas gifts, not just things to meet their needs.’ She thanked me over and over again saying we made her Christmas, and I told her, ‘No you’ve made ours.’”
Adena’s Coats for Kids program has become well-known throughout the region, and has grown significantly since it began less than five years ago. Need at that time was a few hundred coats for area children. This year, coats were purchased for children in all grades at 24 schools in Ross, Pike, Jackson, Pickaway, Vinton, Highland, and Hocking Counties. Students are generally identified by teachers, principals, bus drivers and other school personnel who may know of a family’s financial situation, or notice a child who may not have adequate outerwear to handle winter’s chill.
The coats were delivered to the schools over the past few weeks.
Mt. Logan Elementary Principal Elaine Seimer recently posted a message of gratitude on her school’s Facebook page, along with a photo of the donated items under the school’s Christmas tree. She wrote, “We would like to thank Adena Regional Medical Center and several of our local churches for helping to supply our kids with hats, gloves, scarves, and sweatpants. Many of our students will be a little warmer this winter because of you. Thanks again.”
Since it began four years ago, Adena’s caregivers have provided more than 5,000 coats to children in our community through its Coats for Kids program, which is led by a team of nurses and other caregivers.