CEDAR POINT — There’s a bit of a chill in the air, so, naturally, it’s time for Operation Bundle Up in Cedar Point.
Effective immediately, the program run by
town clerk Jayne Calhoun is accepting donations of coats, hoodies, sweatshirts, mittens, gloves and winter hats to provide school-age children who need them. All items must be new and have the tags, Ms. Calhoun said.
They can be dropped off at town hall, at 417 Sherwood Ave., and will be distributed to those who need them by the Carteret County public school system.
Last year, many town residents and some businesses participated and contributed dozens of items. Ms. Calhoun said the town collected about 80 coats during a time when many families were struggling to make ends meet while out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She doesn’t think things are better for many people this year.
“It might even be a little worse in terms of some families making ends meet,” she said. “The price of food has gone up” and gas prices are also higher.
This year, school counselors, who determine who gets the warm gear, are stressing the need for hoodies and sweatshirts as opposed to “heavy, puffy coats,” Ms. Calhoun said.
The clerk said she’s gotten some “pushback” on social media for requiring all items be new, but that’s the school system’s preference.
“A lot of kids already have hand-me-downs, and the schools keep some gently used coats on hand for students who need them,” she said.
She said she hopes the number of donations “will blow last year” out of the water.
Meanwhile, Ms. Calhoun and Cedar Point officials are starting to gear up for the annual Toys for Tots drive to collect unwrapped, new gifts for children who otherwise might not receive them at Christmas. That program has long been sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and Marines come to pick up the toys in December.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.