How to Find Kids Who Need Help in My Community


Sometimes the question of “how to find kids who need help in my community” can be solved simply by looking around the neighborhood.

While driving on the streets of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Dick Sanford encountered a sight that eventually spurred the formation of Operation Warm: a group of children – coatless – huddled at a bus stop on a cold December morning in 1998.

Often though, finding local children in need to support with a project or outreach program requires a little more strategy. Below are four proven ways to find local children-serving organizations and beneficiaries who would benefit from your generosity and kindness.

How to Find Kids Who Need Help Through Your Local School District

The most popular way for Operation Warm Community Heroes to find kids who need help in their local community is by first contacting a local school or school district. Principals, teachers, guidance counselors, school social workers and school nurses usually know exactly how many students are in need.

Let the person answering the phone know what specifically what you would like to do. For example, you can tell them that you would like to give children in the school or school district brand new coats so the children will be warm for the winter. They will be able to connect you with the best person at the school to help facilitate your gift.

Note, if your local schools are a mix of students from different levels of need, a school might not provide a hands-on opportunity for a coat gifting event, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to find deserving children in need and help you get the brand new coats to them.

how to find children to help

How to Find Kids Who Need Help with Head Start

Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness for young children from low-income families. Programs are generally run through child care centers and supported by grants. Head Start is part of the US Department of Health & Human Services.  The Head Start website offers a program locator that you can use to find kids who need help with brand new coats. You can also easily do a general internet search for local Head Start programs.

How to Find Kids Who Need Help Through Nonprofit Organizations

Contact local nonprofit organizations that serve children and families in need in your community. Some examples of children-serving organizations include food pantries, refugee support agencies, homeless shelters and community hospitals. Explain that you would like to make a gift of brand new coats to the children they serve.

how to find children to help

How to Find Kids Who Need Help at the Library

Local libraries can be a wonderful support to the community, especially one that has a significant population of low-income families. Operation Warm has an exciting program that partners with libraries in a seamless way to bring both new books and new coats to children in the community. Consider a partnership with your local library and organize your own “A Warm Welcome to the Library” event.

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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