Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 24, 2013

Kids’ coats still going strong

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — A few stretches of frosty cold temperatures during this winter are a reminder for some to have the coats ready to keep their kids bundled up.

Not an easy task for some who need a little help from a longtime Pauls Valley program designed to get coats to the youngsters in need of staying warm on those cold days.

Now in her second year of overseeing the Coats for Kids program is Linda Dutton, who said PV parents going through hard financial times can still get a coat for their children simply by contacting the school office where the youngster attends.

“It’s still going good,” Dutton said.

“I’ve had contact from the schools almost all through the year,” she said. “Teachers know the kids that come to school who need a coat. They let someone at their office know and they give me a call.

“It makes it easier to go through the schools.”

Dutton stepped in to oversee the program handed to her by the lady who got it started — longtime activist LaWanda Vaughn.

She not only had the time to give to the program but believes it’s an important thing to keep going.

“This is something that’s greatly needed,” Dutton said.

“It’s rewarding knowing you’re providing for kids who are in need of a coat.”

The Coats for Kids program was able to provide more than 50 coats to local kids last year. Most of those went to younger students but there are exceptions.

“This year I’ve had four or five coats given at the high school,” she said, adding there are other times when coats go to children so young they still haven’t started school.

In fact, Dutton believes the demand is likely even greater but there are more low income options out there when it comes to coat programs.

On the other side the program can also use some help from anyone wanting to donate coats.

Many of the donated coats also go through the local schools, which Dutton then stores until they’re needed.

Anyone looking to donate coats to the program can call Dutton at 238-4882 or contact their child’s school.