Warm The Children – “a newspaper’s perfect community relations program”

It’s perfect, first of all, because it provides new (not used!) winter clothing for needy children in a newspaper’s hometown in a unique and efficient manner. In the process a Warm The Children program: 

Enhances a newspaper’s image in the community

Provides an opportunity to enhance advertiser relations (stores like the idea of hundreds, even thousands of dollars, in ‘plus’ sales)

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Helps needy people who may not be eligible for help from another source

Gets citizens of a community involved (as shoppers) in a partnership with their newspaper, giving them an opportunity to help their neighbors in a personal way

Treats recipient families with dignity and respect (as customers of the store)

Costs next to nothing

Is easy to implement and administer (there’s lots of assistance from Warm The Children, Inc.)

Provides a community with a help program in which all the money donated stays in the community to assist local citizens-not a penny is used for ‘administration’

Warm The Children’s founder, Mack Stewart, is a retired newspaper publisher who started the program at the Torrington CT Register-Citizen where he worked. He and his wife, Natalie (who was Warm The Children coordinator in Middletown CT in 1992-3) are devoting their lives to helping newspapers (and their local charity partners) implement and maintain the program in the most efficient manner possible. Some of the things the Stewarts provide are:

A detailed game plan for making a Warm The Children program work

Training for the person at the newspaper/charitable organization who will serve as program coordinator

Access to the Stewarts as a resource in answering questions and solving problems

Help in getting an IRS tax exempt # on the local Warm The Children bank account (enabling donors to make tax deductible contributions)

Camera ready “house ads” asking readers for donations

Copies of news stories and editorials about their programs from other Warm The Children newspapers

Help (when needed) in establishing relations with stores

Help in establishing relationship with social service providers

Help in recruiting shoppers – especially from service clubs