As a Wicked Winter Approaches, "Boots for Kids" Aims to Warm Two Thousand Feet in Bay City, Davison, Flint, Lapeer, Port Huron and Saginaw
FLINT – November 1, 2011 – Homelessness is on the rise, and with winter on its way, the statistics are chilling. The number of homeless children has climbed to more than 1,500 in Genesee and Saginaw counties alone, and a local nonprofit health plan is asking local communities to help these children stay warm and dry this winter.
From now until the end of January, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) will collect new children's winter boots and distribute them to Carriage Town Ministries of Flint, Flint Eastside Mission, Outreach East in Davison, Good Samaritan Rescue Mission in Bay City, City Rescue Mission of Saginaw, Love INC of Greater Lapeer and Pathway Shelter of Port Huron.
"'Boots for Kids' is an opportunity to touch lives through a simple act of kindness," said Anita Moliterno, general manager, HAP's East Central regional office. "Coming from humble beginnings myself, I recall how important it was to receive help in times of need. Now, when I see children trying on their new boots, I see myself through their smiles. It's our way of living HAP's mission to enhance the health and well-being of the lives we touch."
In 2010, with the help of more than 20 community partners, HAP collected 650 pairs of children's boots (more than $16,000 estimated value). Moliterno anticipates a greater demand for boots this year as homeless rates continue to rise, so she's set a lofty goal to collect 1,000 pairs of boots – including larger sizes for teens – this year.
As in past years, HAP is teaming up with local health insurance agents and other community partners who have volunteered to collect boots at their offices throughout Bay, Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Saginaw and St. Clair counties. Local retailers, chambers of commerce and other organizations have also stepped up to support the cause by donating merchandise, gift cards and cash.
Boots can be dropped off at HAP's East Central regional office and several locations throughout the area. For a complete listing of drop-off locations, visit hap.org/bootsforkids
Businesses or individuals interested in becoming Boots for Kids community partners may contact Anita Moliterno at (810) 230-7404 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow our progress on Twitter at @HAPMichigan . For more information, download our program guide and videos at hap.org/bootsforkids.