By Tim MacVean
PARSONS - Warm the Children is working to make sure that children in our area are kept safe and healthy this holiday season.
The organization is a cooperative effort between the Parsons Advocate newspaper, the local community and other local charities to provide new winter clothing for children in need.
The newspaper runs numerous ads, articles and columns throughout the fall requesting monetary donations. These are placed in a local Warm the Children bank account which can be used exclusively to purchase winter clothing.
The newspaper, with the help
of local charity partners, arranges with local social
service agencies to determine which children could benefit the most from these services.
The Parsons Advocate, along with the assistance of the Tucker
Community Foundation and the Tucker County Family Resource Network, recruit community members who are willing to be volunteer shoppers.
These volunteers meet with local families and take them shopping at local stores such as K-Mart in Elkins. The stores provide an extra discount, which allows the program to purchase more for the money. Up to $80 is spent on each child normally, officials said.
"The Parsons Advocate is very proud to be part of this program," Mikie Dumire, assistant publisher of The Parsons Advocate, said. "I am very grateful to all the people who make donations to the program, Rob Burns and his staff at Tucker Community Foundation, April Miller and her staff at the Tucker County Family Resource Network and all the shoppers and volunteers,
"I play a very small role," Dumire said. "These are the people that give up their time to organize things and do the actual shopping. I am thankful to each and every one of them for all they do to keep this very worthwhile program going."
Mariwyn Smith, former owner of The Parsons Advocate, originally made the decision to participate in this program. The paper has continued its involvement through changes in ownership. Michael Showell, the current owner, is proud to be part of Warm the Children and wants to continue helping keep local children warm during the holidays and year-round.
The program covers all of Tucker County. Any needy child is eligible. The program helps as many children as the funding will allow and last year was able to help supply warm clothing for 168 children.
Individuals can donate by mailing donations to Warm The Children, in care of The Parson Advocate, PO Box 345, Parsons, WV 26283, or volunteer by calling 304-478-3533.