News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 15, 2007

Clothe-A-Child provides winter wear for hundreds of Valley kids

TERRE HAUTE — The Noon Optimist Club’s 72nd annual Clothe-A-Child came just in time this year for hundreds of children who received new coats Saturday morning as a winter storm descended on the Wabash Valley.

While some people may have planned to stay in from the snow or just shovel it, 9-year-old Clayton Ankeny couldn’t wait to play in it with his new coat on.

“My pockets are so warm,” he said as he put his hands in the fleece-lined pockets of his coat, “so cozy and warm.”

Ankeny’s last coat had a big rip on the sleeve which allowed the stuffing to come out or get wet, he said. It also only had buttons so when he ran around he could feel the air coming inside his coat, he said.

His new coat has a zipper and buttons, so he thinks he’ll be a lot warmer this winter, Ankeny said.

Having moved to Terre Haute from Oregon two years ago, Ankeny and his mother, Amy Carlyle, weren’t used to the cold, snowy winters, Carlyle said.

There isn’t a program like this in Oregon, she said.

A program like this one is helpful to make sure children have warm clothes in the winter, she said, and “coats are so expensive.”

Also, “children are able to come and have the season of Christmas,” Carlyle said. “It’s really nice.”

With 917 children signed up, program coordinator Bob Waelbroeck said they expected about 800 children to show up at Wal-Mart at 5555 S. U.S. Highway 41 for a pack of socks, pack of underwear, pair of jeans, one shirt and maybe a coat, depending on their need.

Teachers refer the children to the Optimist Club and club members interview the children to determine their need and take down their sizes, Waelbroeck said.

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    March 12, 2010