Russellville Rotary collecting clothing and shoes for area children

The Happy Feet and Operation Warm programs serve as examples of their commitment to making a difference.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 3:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) - The Russellville Rotary Foundation is spreading warmth and happiness in its community with the launch of its annual Happy Feet and Operation Warm Programs.

These initiatives aim to collect clothing and shoes for needy children in the area, ensuring that every child has what they need to focus on learning as the weather gets colder.

Working with local Family Resource Youth Service Center (FRYSC) staff in local schools, the programs provide warm clothing and footwear to families in need. With a focus on ensuring that no child goes without the essentials during the harsh winter season. It serves as a beacon of hope and community support.

Since 2009, the Russellville Rotary Foundation has been serving the community and making a significant impact on the lives of these children. Comprised of community leaders, neighbors, and friends, they come together to create positive and lasting change in the community.

The Happy Feet and Operation Warm programs serve as examples of their commitment to making a difference.

With a goal of raising $25,000, the money is used to purchase the clothing items needed by students and delivered to the schools.

“We collect cash donations and then purchase shoes, joggers, leggings, hoodies, and coats for students,” said Karen Kirsch, Russellville Rotary Club member and Program Chair.

The organization has been receiving generous donations from the community helping them meet this year’s increased demands. Since the programs started in Logan County, the organization has been able to provide students in area schools with:

  • 4,238 pairs of shoes
  • 2,598 pairs of pants
  • 3,350 coats and hoodies

Other clothing items are also provided through the program.

“It varies so greatly from home to home. It can be everything needed from socks and underwear to basic clothing up to just needing a pair of shoes,” said Carol Kees, Family Resource Coordinator for Stevenson Elementary.

The philosophy is that a child in need is in need regardless of their circumstances.

“It may be that the parents can afford it but the child doesn’t have it. It may be that the parents simply cannot do it on their own,” Kees said. “The child can’t have it and you’re having school supplies and all of that on top of it, it really adds up in a hurry.”

The main key to the success of these programs is the community’s involvement and support.

“We couldn’t do it without all of the people who give to the rotary without questions being asked,” Kees said. “You know just the idea of helping a child is enough. That’s enough to make it all worthwhile.”

If you are interested in donating, you can send your tax-deductible donation to Russellville Rotary Foundation, PO Box 1183, Russellville, KY 42276.

If you are unable to mail your donation, the organization can come to you for pick up if you send them a message on their Facebook page.