On January 31, 2019, Battle Creek Regional Airport recorded the lowest temperature (-18 F) seen in 100 years (1/31/1899), with the coldest wind chills recorded at Brownlee Park at -42 F. February and March also brought record lows. Throughout, Charitable Union stayed true to its 133-year mission and distributed a record-breaking 64% more (1,382) sets (coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and snow pants) of winter weather gear to low-to-moderate income children of Calhoun County, MI.
Low-to-moderate income families have a difficult time affording clothing for children, which can cost $50 or more per child.
Poverty never really goes away but what we do know is that low-income parents typically rise out of poverty over time (as they age, with more education and experience, etc.) and that those who need help today are not typically the same as need help tomorrow. We help in the interim, when family budgets are low but children need proper clothing in order to go to and from school during the winter.
According to the 2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book, nearly twice as many children under age 6 live in poverty than do children, aged 6 and up. Thirty one percent of children under 6 live in families without year-round, full-time employment. And, children growing up in poverty are much more likely than their peers to experience stress and deprivation that hinders development and readiness for school. Assisting children with proper winter gear reduces that stress.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).