While the weather remains moderate this fall, many people already are working to make sure that the children in our community are ready for the winter headed our way.

And while it may be hard to remember the zero-degree wind chills of last winter while we still don’t need a jacket, those volunteers are lining up to help the many in our community who need help staying warm this winter.

The 18th annual Ann Arbor News Warm the Children campaign just launched, seeking money and volunteers shoppers to continue its goal of buying winter clothing for kids. This year, the program has a goal of $270,000, which will allow it to continue to serve 3,000 children in need. For $90, each child referred to the program is outfitted in new hats, gloves, coats, sweaters and anything else he or she needs to stay warm this winter.

We introduced this year’s program with a recent news story, and over the coming months, you’ll hear more stories from people who observe first-hand just what kind of an effect this program has on our community.

School counselors also have said the donations help the students beyond just fighting off a chill. If they’re not worried about having a proper winter jacket or snow boots, they’re able to focus more on learning. That’s important not just for the growing number of homeless kids in Washtenaw County’s schools, but also for families who struggle to make ends meet.

Ann Arbor is incredibly generous. Year after year, this community steps up to give and we expect that to continue as fall gives way to the holiday season.

One hundred percent of each donation to Warm The Children goes toward purchasing warm clothing with the help of The Ann Arbor News, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and Old National Bank. We’re also grateful to Target Corp. for participating, and for donating an extra 5 percent with every purchase made for the program.

Donate to Warm The Children online , in person at any Old National branch, or by mail to Warm the Children, c/o Old National Bank, 2723 S State Street Suite 100, Ann Arbor MI 48104.