Franklin Rotary, Lions collecting money for children’s coats

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FRANKLIN—It breaks Lisa Francis’ heart when she sees a student walk into S.P. Morton Elementary School on a 30-degree morning without a coat.

The assistant principal for the Franklin school, Francis’ heart is warmed, however, with the efforts by the Rotary Club of Franklin and Franklin Lions Club to provide new coats to the school’s children.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “It’s sweet when they get their coats.”

The Rotary for a second year is teaming up the Lions Club and Operation Warm to distribute coats to elementary school children . For every $15 donated locally, a new coat will be provided to a student at S.P. Morton. This year’s goal is to buy 30 coats.

Donations will be sent to Operation Warm, which is one of the largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to distributing new winter coats in the United States. Operation Warm purchases the coats and ships them to Franklin for distribution.

“The idea is to provide new quality coats to children,” said Dr. Dylan Belt, Chairman for the local Rotary Operation Warm Program. “Oftentimes, one of the questions is ‘why not donate (gently used) coats?’ This way we can order them the right sizes and they know they’re new.”

He hopes to receive the coats by the beginning of January.

“It’s wonderful,” Francis said. “We do so much for our youth, for the students here. It’s wonderful to be able to provide the students that are really in need of that.”

The deadline to make donations is Friday, Dec. 3. Mail donations to Belt, attention Operation Warm, 108 W. 2nd Ave., Franklin, Va., 23851. For information call 562-4321.