Shawnee helping with collection of 7,500 coats for Christmas Bureau
To help the Johnson County Christmas Bureau collect 7,500 new and gently worn children’s coats this spring, the mayors of Shawnee and Overland Park have declared April as Collect Coats for a Cause Month in their cities.
The collection will be accomplished through spring coat drives in the schools and Johnson County Christmas Bureau barrel drop-off sites.
Schools are the single largest source of coats donated to the Christmas Bureau. Shawnee is home to 17 schools in the Shawnee Mission and De Soto school districts, and Overland Park is home to 45 public schools.
In addition to school drives, collection barrels have been placed at several Johnson County sites for coat donations through April 30. Those sites include one at Shawnee City Hall, 11110 Johnson Drive, where Mayor Jeff Meyers will present his proclamation to Christmas Bureau during the April 22 City Council meeting.
The Christmas Bureau is a nondenominational United Way safety net agency that has provided holiday assistance to qualified, low-income residents of Johnson County for the past 53 years. Last December, the bureau helped nearly 13,000 individuals from 3,461 families at its annual nine-day Holiday Shop. Many of those served needed winter coats for their children.
“Without the help from schools and the coat drives they sponsor, we simply could not do what we do for children,” said Barb McNeile, the Christmas Bureau’s executive director. “Coat drives in schools are absolutely vital along with donations from the community.”
In the past, the bureau has launched coat drives in the fall. But with more families being served each year, McNeile wanted to start the school and community collection drives earlier, when donor families may be spring cleaning and pruning closets of coats their children have outgrown.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a coat drive or donating new or gently worn coats can contact the Christmas Bureau office at 913-341-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and a full list of drop-off sites, go to www.jccb.org.