Lacombe based charity donates $5,000 to FCSS New Coats for Kids program

The donation from A Better World will allow many children the ability to stay warm this winter

New Coats for Kids helps children stay warm by providing donations for new winter gear to those in need. Photo courtesy of Lacombe and District FCSS

New Coats for Kids helps children stay warm by providing donations for new winter gear to those in need. Photo courtesy of Lacombe and District FCSS

A Better World (ABW) donated $5000 to the Lacombe and District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) New Coats for Kids program.

The program allows families to purchase new winter gear for their children who might not otherwise have access to it.

Jan Pocock, Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator for FCSS, said the program is important because properly fitting winter clothes are as essential as shelter for those living in central Alberta.

“As we know, Alberta can get quite chilly, and we need to make sure that our children are equipped with the proper clothing,” said Pocock.

“It’s about that basic need of staying warm.”

The program has been running for over 15 years and takes place annually from October to March. Donations go towards gift certificates for families to pick out new winter items such as boots, toques and jackets.

FCSS collects donations to help all types of children from newborns up to age 18 and last year 88 children received warm, well-fitting winter wear.

“ It’s about giving families the dignity of choice and it also gives children the dignity of well-fitting winter wear,” said Pocock.

A Better World is a Lacombe based non-profit organization that works overseas in places such as Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda empowering children by providing healthcare, clean drinking water and education.

Julie Stegmaier, Operations Director and Donor Relations Coordinator for ABW, said they chose New Coats for Kids as their donation of choice because it aligned with ABW’s mission.

“We wanted to donate to a program that dealt specifically with helping children, and we saw that FCSS had some really valuable programs for kids,” said Stegmaier.

Stegmaier said she has donors who want to ensure their money goes towards helping local programs as opposed to some of their international work.

This was the first time A Better World donated to this specific program, but they have donated to FCSS before.

Both organizations have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic however, despite the decline in donations they have continued to give back.

As of Nov. 24, FCSS has already provided 32 gift certificates for children to pick out new winter clothes.

“We found that the generosity of people in Lacombe is amazing and they really come together to help support one another,” said Stegmaier speaking about ABW and working in central Alberta.

A Better World has continued to offer programs internationally and hasn’t slowed down even though the pandemic has made things difficult.

“A lot of people think that because of COVID-19 that we’ve had to stop our programs but that’s not true,” said Stegmaier.

“We are still trying to move forward with as many programs as we can.”

New Coats for Kids keep all identities of recipients for the program anonymous. FCSS is still accepting applications as well as donations and people can get in contact by calling the FCSS office at 403-782-6637.