Trying times continue in Massachusetts. Choices and priorities have to be made but how do you choose between paying for rent, having enough food for your family to eat, and paying for fuel? As a matter of fact, it was recently reported by WBUR that in the past year, the Massachusetts family shelter system has doubled in size, and more than 3,000 households are now in hotels and motels that often don’t have toys, books, or places for children to play.

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As it Gets Colder Massachusetts Families Have Another Expense Staring Them in The Eyes 

Another need that Berkshire County parents are struggling to fulfill for their children is making sure the little ones have warm winter clothing. We're talking about coats, gloves, hats, and boots that aren't ripped or stained and that fully function. According to our friends at Sheffield Kiwanis, the number of local children needing and receiving new winter clothing continues to grow each year.

Sheffield Kiwanis Along with the Local Community is Helping to Fulfill This Local Need

Luckily Sheffield Kiwanis is able to help children in the southern Berkshires through their Warm The Children program. Warm The Children provides new winter clothing to children in need. Its success depends entirely on donations from individuals and businesses in the community. 100% of all money donated is spent on clothing - Sheffield Kiwanis pays all administrative expenses.

How Does the Sheffield Kiwanis Warm The Children Program Work?

How the program works is qualified families are referred to Kiwanis by local schools and agencies such as CHP/WIC and Head Start. Sheffield Kiwanis' volunteers contact the families, explain the program, and oversee purchases from Target.com. Families may purchase up to $100 of warm clothing, boots, jackets, etc for appropriateness before paying for clothing. Trying to purchase toys or video games, for example, wouldn't qualify for this program. The order is shipped directly to the family's home.

Who Exactly Is Sheffield Serving Through the Warm The Children Program? 

Sheffield Kiwanis is currently serving children in kindergarten through grade 8 in the southern Berkshires. However, with sufficient donations, the club may be able to include middle and high schools and children under 5. Sheffield Kiwanis serves the Berkshire County towns of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, and Sheffield. If you would like to make a donation to the program you can do so by going here.

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