BACK TO SCHOOL: HUGGS and coats for kids
Kids prepare for school in Anchorage Alaska.
Children and parents lined up outside the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club and Community Center to receive new backpacks, school supplies and winter coats as part of the annual HUGSS (Helping Us Give School Supplies) and Coats for Kids project in Anchorage. This year, over 4,763 children were served by the partner agencies, including The Salvation Army, Catholic Social Services, Lutheran Social Services and the Anchorage School District.
With an increasing number of families needing assistance, the support of the community and business sponsors, including Wells Fargo, Fred Meyer, Exxon-Mobile and Providence Alaska helps ensure there are adequate supplies and backpacks for each child.
Local dry cleaners also get involved, helping clean gently used coats to be distributed. Typically not enough coats are received to meet the need during the summer collection drive so one local business, One Hour Fireweed, expanded their efforts to collect coats all year long. Vouchers for coats at Salvation Army Thrift Stores were also provided to help fill the need.
According to HUGSS and Coats for Kids coordinator, Lt. Donna Bakke (divisional Guard and Sunbeam director), “It’s rewarding to be part of this program that not only provides basic supplies but also helps to foster an excitement for lifelong learning in our kids.”
Submitted by Jenni Ragland