The Coats for Kids initiative in Portage, led by the United Way in Central Plains, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Plains and the Family Resource Centre, wrapped up its distribution at the Youth for Christ Youth Unlimited building with overwhelming community support. Kathryn Dalton, a Community Engagement Coordinator for United Way, shares her experience.
"It was great to be there and help people find the right fits for themselves and their kids," Dalton notes. "The tables were almost overflowing with donations. I know we had an abundance of hats and mitts, too, and not even all of those got on the tables because we just ran out of space."
Dalton, along with Megan Romphf, another Community Engagement Coordinator, spent a fulfilling day helping families find the right coats for themselves and their kids.
Though slower on the second of three days, due to weather, they still saw around 20 attendees. One touching moment stood out to Dalton.
"Near the end of our day, we had a boy come through," Dalton shares. "He was not only picking out for himself but all his siblings, as well. It was just really touching because he wasn't only thinking of himself, he was thinking of all his other family members who could use the warmth this winter."
Dalton expressed gratitude to Youth for Christ for providing a dedicated space, acknowledging the impact of their support on the program. As the distribution concluded, Dalton mentioned assessing remaining items and exploring opportunities, including a potential partnership with an organization in Neepawa.
She also thanked the community for their support, emphasizing the program's commitment to spreading warmth throughout the community.