Detroit Children Feel Warmth Thanks to Grosse Pointe Rotary
Since Operation Warm began producing brand new coats we have been working closely with Rotary clubs across the nation. This past year, we teamed up with 81 clubs to bring warmth to children living in poverty.
Beginning in 2012, Grosse Pointe Rotary Club has been providing children throughout Detroit with hope, happiness and warmth. Through 2016, Grosse Pointe Rotary has teamed up with its neighboring clubs Grosse Pointe Sunrise, Detroit A.M. and Detroit to support the children in their community. Their Snuggle Rotary events have raised over $305,000 and over 18,600 children living in the metro area have been provided with a brand new winter coat.
Temperatures throughout Detroit winters can drop to 19 degrees with some days dropping below zero. Thanks to the efforts from Detroit and Grosse Pointe Rotary clubs, many children were able to endure the 95 inches of snow the metro area received in 2014 and in subsequent winters.
For many of these children, a new coat was more than just warmth. Since 2011, all Detroit Public Schools have worked with the National School Lunch Program to ensure that every child is fed regardless of income.
“We spend plenty of time looking at the huge problems children face, but not enough time on the mundane but heartbreaking daily challenges they deal with, like getting enough to eat or having warm clothes to wear to school in the winter,” said Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley.
In Detroit, there are more children living in poverty than in any of the nation’s largest cities. More than half of the children, 57 percent, live below the poverty line in the metro area.
Riley worked closely with the Detroit area’s Rotary clubs during their Snuggle Rotary campaign to provide 12,000 children with brand new coats.
“Snuggle Rotary is so exciting that I said yes before Mike Carmody, executive secretary of the Rotary Club of Grosse Pointe, could finish asking me to help,” Riley explained in her 2012 article about the program.
Like Riley, these Rotary clubs want every child to earn an education. In the Macomb School District, more than 35 percent of students living in poverty experience chronic truancy. A dirty school uniform, a job, and having to stay home to assist family members are all reasons that a child would miss school. For students in Detroit, a lack of transportation and warm clothing can cause children to stay home in the colder school months.
However, thanks to Rotary clubs partnering with Operation Warm, each of these children can be warm and toasty as they brave the cold in winter.