Groups collecting blankets, gloves, hats for needy

Winter wear drive begins

The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cold winter with more than average snowfall for the upcoming season.

Having a warm, fuzzy blanket or proper winter wear, such as hats, scarves and gloves, will help keep the children warm and protected while waiting at a bus stop or even when out sledding on those chilly snow days.

A collection of new hats and gloves will run in tandem with the Jackson County United Way’s blanket drive, which is conducted each year in support of the Sertoma Club of Jackson County’s Christmas Miracle project.

Students in several Brownstown Central and Seymour high school classes already have begun collecting blankets, and they will continue to do so through Dec. 15.

Since the blanket drive began in 2013, approximately 3,000 blankets have been donated to Sertoma Christmas Miracle and distributed to families in need on Christmas Eve.

Robin Perry, Browns-town Central High School DECA Club adviser, said the school’s students have donated thousands of blankets over the years.

“Students enjoy donating the blankets, creating displays out of the blankets with their classmates in their classroom and they enjoy the competition element, as well,” she said. “DECA uses the blanket drive for some of their community service goals, so it is very important to us, as well. We always say, ‘Giving the blankets warms two people: The heart of the giver and the one receiving the blanket.’”

This year, Anytime Fitness in Seymour will be adding another layer of warmth to the drive by collecting hats, gloves and scarves at its facility, 840 E. Tipton St.

“Anytime Fitness thrives knowing that as a club, through our members and staff, we can provide outreach events that allow us to help those in the community,” said Meghan Bartells with Anytime Fitness.

“We have been so greatly blessed as a company, and it is one of our main goals to give back to those in need,” she said. “Anytime Fitness was extremely excited when we were presented with another opportunity to help others in Jackson County. We are excited to help keep those around us warm this winter and holiday season.”

Sertoma member John Fox said the hats, scarves, gloves and blankets part of Sertoma Christmas Miracle is a wonderful benefit to the underprivileged kids in Jackson County.

“It’s hard to play with your toys when your hands are too cold,” Fox said. “The blanket drive involves yet another age group, high school students, in Christmas Miracle and in a fun and competitive way. The students will create displays with the blankets, and we furnish judges for the competition, and I know that the Sertoma members who serve as judges enjoy the competition immensely.”

Fox said families can apply for Sertoma Christmas Miracle by obtaining an application at the Jackson County United Way office, the Seymour branch of the Jackson County Public Library, many of the United Way member agencies, the Jackson County Health Department, Bundy Brothers in Medora and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in Brownstown during business hours.

Sertoma Christmas Miracle only serves residents of Jackson County.

At a glance

For information on how you can participate in keeping Jackson County warm, contact the Jackson County United Way at 812-522-5450 or bonita@jacsy.org.