Helping families through Warm the Children 


Published: 9/17/2021 2:54:57 PM
Modified: 9/17/2021 2:55:03 PM

Before we know it, the cold weather will be here, and once again Warm the Children will be providing new coats and clothing to area children in need.

And with the COVID-19 pandemic’s lingering impact on our economy, the program’s help is needed more than ever for families in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region.

Over the course of more than three decades, Warm the Children has grown to provide new coats and clothes to 900 children, raising about $90,000 to cover the expenses annually. That goal continues.

“I enjoy being part of a program that takes care of the needs of my community, especially the children, and to see the outpouring of neighbors helping neighbors,” said organizer Pat Maleno, business manager for the Greenfield Recorder, Athol Daily News and Daily Hampshire Gazette.

All newspaper advertisements, and many fundraising costs, are donated by the Recorder. Donations to Warm the Children, which are tax-deductible, are placed in a special account overseen by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

Warm the Children recipients are suggested by various social service agencies and community organizations

Wilson’s Department Store worked with the Recorder to order the clothes until it closed in January 2020. Now, the Recorder has a partnership with Target to provide gift cards to beneficiaries.

These gift cards, which have been provided to Community Action Pioneer Valley for distribution, can be used in store or online to buy clothing for each qualifying child, 12 years old or younger.

Many community volunteers also help Warm the Children by holding their own fundraisers. Local civic groups and businesses join in the effort, both by making donations and by organizing further fundraising efforts.

Traditionally, the Recorder shares stories of donors and even recipients during the fundraising campaign.

Last year, the paper wrote about Rhoda Yucavitch, of Northfield, who has donated to Warm the Children for more than 15 years because she prefers to help local causes.

“I prefer to donate locally,” Yucavitch said. “There’s a need in Franklin County for help.”

Constance “Connie” Clarke said a fire in her Shelburne Falls home — and how the community responded — inspire her to give to the fund.

“If you’ve ever seen a child’s face when they put on a new coat, well, it’s pretty awesome,” Clarke said.

Others who have a long tradition of giving to Warm the Children are Lenore Glaser, from Turners Falls, and Elaine Holden, of South Deerfield.

And then there is the Greenfield Tae Kwon Do Center, which has been holding its break-athon fundraisers since 2002 — raising more than $95,000 in all.

The Recorder is seeking stories about those who have a tradition of giving to Warm the Children. Running a fundraiser? We are interested in letting our readers know.

Our hope is that these stories will inspire others to give to this worthy cause.

Share your story

Email your contact information to and a reporter will be assigned to include you in the stories the newspaper does as the Warm the Children fundraising campaign continues.

Make a donation

Anyone who would like to send tax-deductible donations may address them to The Greenfield Recorder: Warm the Children at P.O. Box 1367, 14 Hope St., Greenfield MA, 01302.

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Telephone: (413) 772-0261
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