Now in its fourth year, the 2012 Boardman Lions/Target New Coats for Kids program is well under way, set to provide Boardman's youngest residents with a warm coat for winter.
Sharing that the endeavor began very small at just one Boardman township school, Laura Sevenich-Sobotka, the membership chairperson for the Boardman Lions Club, said the program has expanded and is now available in all Boardman elementary and middle schools.
Stressing "This is not a coat drive," but rather a means to provide a new coat to children in need, Sevenich-Sobotka went on to say that funding for the event is provided through community donations, as well as Boardman Lions Club fundraising.
"We want it to be a family event," she said, going on to explain that once applications have been reviewed, eligible families will receive a written invitation to join the Lion's Club at Target on a designated evening, where family members can shop together for their coats.
Sevenich-Sobotka said the club thinks that if a family is experiencing financial difficulties and children are in need of new coats, assistance takes one burden off the family, allowing them to focus elsewhere.
According to Sevenich-Sobotka, applications for the Boardman Lions/Target New Coats for Kids Program can be found on the Lions website, www.boardmanlions.com, as well as in the Boardman Library, and in the Boardman Schools newsletters. Boardman Lions is also available on Facebook.
Donations are accepted year-round for the program, and can be made on the website. There, donors will find a variety of options, such as newly added honorariums and memorials, which provide a way for people to honor others in a meaningful way.
Deadline for applying for the 2012 Boardman Lions/Target New Coats for Kids program is Sept. 12, and applicants are restricted to Boardman residents. Qualified applicants will be notified by mail, after which, the families are invited to attend a night at Target to select their new coats.
According to Sevenich-Sobotka, on the night of the event, Target generously provides refreshments and completes an evaluation.
"The feedback is very positive," she said, adding of the families, "They're very appreciative."
"People have been really generousI think it's something that's close to people's hearts," said Sevenich-Sobotka. "It's a good program. We really love doing it."