Snuggling into the warm embrace of a winter coat is like sharing a caring hug. With Windermere Property Management South Whidbey’s Coats For Kids Campaign, Paula Peters hopes to offer families protection from the elements and help them get through those chilly winter months
“We have partnered with Readiness to Learn for the fifth year to offer Coats For Kids,” says Peters, Windermere Property Management South Whidbey. “These new coats not only give children a sense of pride. Getting something new is fun. Keeping children warm through the winter is an obvious bonus.”
Almost six percent of the population in South Whidbey live below the poverty line, and four percent of those are under the age of 18. In Island County, the total comes in close to nine percent. For some, putting food on the table takes priority over a decent winter coat. With winter temperatures topping out with an average daily high temperature below 50°F, the coldest month of December has an average low of 37°F, which means during those chilly months, there are plenty of children in the community out in the cold.
“We are trying to help meet this growing need in our local community,” says Peters. “Over the past five years, we have helped donate more than 800 pieces of cold weather clothing to Readiness To Learn.”
Readiness To Learn is a non-profit organization that partners with schools, communities, and families. Their goal is to help each child reach their potential, regardless of circumstance. They create a safe space for those impacted by isolation, poverty, and inequity. Since 1998, Readiness To Learn has served thousands of youth and families.
For Cailyn Murray at Readiness To Learn, the partnership with Windermere for Coats For Kids has been rewarding.
“Having a community partner like Paula and the team at Windermere makes a huge difference for kids and families,” says Murray. The variety of warm jackets that have been given to us gives kids and their parents a chance to pick out something that they feel great wearing, keeping them warm in cold days and in cold places. What an impactful partnership! Thank you, Windermere.”
Last year, they were able to share 154 jackets with kids who were baby aged to seniors in high school largely because of Windermere donations.
“It has been a privilege to work and partner with Readiness To Learn,” says Peters. “The impact we are having with the Coats For Kids is tremendous. Readiness To Learn is local and community-oriented, and the partnership has been rewarding.”
Peters started the Coats For Kids partnership five years ago when she discovered her daughter’s friend didn’t have a coat, and her daughter offered her one.
“I thought, this is crazy, we have to help in some way,” says Peters. “It is like Christmas watching the donations come in. It is exciting knowing all these kiddos are getting warm coats. It is embarrassing to be cold. Getting a new coat warms the heart.”
Donations for Coats For Kids can be made at Windermere’s Langley and Freeland Offices. They also have an Amazon Wish List for easy ordering, which can be found under Windermere Coats For Kids.
“I can even personally pick up donations on the island,” says Peters. “The only stipulation is that the coats be new.” Donations have also come in hand-knitted and purchased hats, mittens, scarves, and jackets.
In the past, most donations have come from Windermere’s Brokers, although individuals are encouraged to donate.
“The Brokers are very generous and quick to reach out and ask about our needs,” says Peters. “The Coats For Kids campaign is a combined effort of Windermere Properties, Readiness To Learn, and community members.
Windermere Property Management South Whidbey has been in business since 2008 and knows the communities it serves. Windermere offers both commercial and residential property management. They help make the lives of property owners easier while protecting their assets.
Peters has worked in the industry for 17 years and is the past president of the National Association of Real Estate Property Managers for the Snohomish County Chapter. Being a member of the NARPM means a higher standard of operation, honesty, and integrity.