A Struggling Community Says Thanks

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Staff, Partners, Board of Directors and Contributors,

It is with great appreciation that I write this email to you this morning. We have distributed 500 coats to children in Brown County, Ohio because of your efforts. Let me tell you a bit about our rural community:

Brown County is a rural county just east of Cincinnati, Ohio. We are a struggling community – Economically, we have little manufacturing or businesses. We used to be a county of “mom and pop” businesses but with larger corporations moving in around us that can distribute products at a more economical value; we say our small town businesses have been rolled up and put away. The lack of jobs for our citizens has approximately 60% of our population on public assistance. We are a community that has been swept away by the opioid and heroin epidemic – our sparsely populated county has ranked number one in opioid deaths in Ohio for several years; we have now fallen to second. This is not a statistic where you want to be ranked at the top. In perspective to our nation, Ohio is at the top of these statistics so we often say that this places us at the top in our nation. Along with this problem, we are having numerous children placed outside their homes; approximately 25% of students in Brown County schools are being raised by someone other than their parents.

The cohesiveness that holds our community together is our schools. Our staff in all of Brown County schools act as parent, mentor, caregiver, cook, emotional support and so on. Our school staff loves on each child as they enter our doors and exit to go home in the evenings. We try to make each child establish a confidence that carries them through their days and into their life. YOU at Operation Warm have helped us in making the whole child. YOU gave us the opportunity to warm a child, fill their heart with kindness and build their confidence. It is with sincere appreciation that I say Thank You. May each of you involved in this project understand that rural communities have benefited from your efforts and we so appreciate your contributions to our children. May each of you have a very Merry Christmas.

Susie McFarland

Brown County ESC

Early Childhood Director

Interested in providing brand new coats for kids in your community? We would love for you to join us as an Operation Warm Community Partner!

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