GREENFIELD — Some Eastern Hancock students will be a little warmer this winter thanks to coats donated by the parishioners of Nameless Creek Christian Church.
Volunteers from the church brought 68 coats to Eastern Hancock Elementary School Tuesday, Oct. 15. The coats will be distributed to students who have been identified by school counselors as facing financial need.
Peggy Hines, one of the coat drive’s organizers, said it is a long-standing tradition at the church. The effort began with a handful of coats given to members of the congregation who were in need and has expanded over the years. The church formerly partnered with Love Inc. on the coat drive, but has since branched out to conduct its own endeavor.
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“Every year, it’s just progressed,” Hines said.
Any coats left over after Eastern Hancock students have made their selections will go to the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation.
Hines and other volunteers purchase most of the coats from area stores in late winter and early spring, when they go on sale. They use funds from Nameless Creek Christian Church’s outreach budget as well as personal donations from parishioners.
“We feel that for these children in need, it would just mean more to them if it were new and had never been worn by anyone else,” Hines said.
Coats will be distributed one at a time, as students are called to the offices of their schools to make their selection. Eastern Hancock Elementary School Principal Amanda Pyle said it makes a major difference for students to have a coat that is not previously owned.
“It fills a huge void for a lot of our kids,” Pyle said. “It helps their confidence and it takes the financial burden off the family.”
Madison Hamblin, a school counselor at Eastern Hancock Elementary, helps identify students who could benefit from receiving a coat.
“Parents may reach out to me or teachers reach out to me if they know a kid who needs one,” Hamblin said. “A lot of our families are very appreciative. This is one of those schools where we’re always helping in all kinds of different ways, and our families definitely appreciate that.”
Hines said the volunteers make sure to select a wide variety of coats so that students can find something in their size and will not end up wearing the same coat as a classmate.
“Every year, we try to get more coats than the year before,” Hines said.
Hines said Nameless Creek Christian Church doesn’t have a large budget for community service projects, but the congregants try to stretch those funds as far as they can.
“It’s a great way for a small church and a small congregation to service two different school districts,” Hines said.
Nameless Creek will be accepting donations for next year’s coat drive. Those interested in contributing can call the church at (317) 498-6316 or mail a donation to its address at 3856 N. County Road 800E.