Wylene Rowe, an Albany-Dougherty 911 communications supervisor, right, hands out donated socks, gloves and hats to needy students Tuesday morning with Cathy Clyde, a counselor at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.
ALBANY, Ga. — More than 30 area children have been assured they will be able to stay warm this winter.
Near the front entrance of Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School on Tuesday morning — just before the Dougherty County School System was set to break for the holidays — a collection of hats, gloves and socks that had been donated by employees of the Albany-Dougherty 911 Dispatch Center were given away to children at the school who were in need.
“I was taking my kids to school one day and saw kids without gloves, so I decided to start this project,” said Wylene Rowe, a 911 communications supervisor.
Thirty-two sets were initially given out to students at the school from various grade levels, with another five children expected to receive bags later.
The collection of new or unwrapped items by Rowe’s team was started in August and gradually built up over the next few months, she said.
“Every time we got paid, we bought a pair to go in the collection,” Rowe said.
Rowe also said this was her first time conducting such a drive, but that she planned to continue doing it on a regular basis. School officials say Tuesday’s recipients were selected by the teachers based on their students’ perceived needs.
Aside from keeping the children warm as the mercury drops, officials also said that such a contribution can also help boost the students’ self-esteem by providing resources they might not otherwise have.
“I think this will help children to feel the community is supporting them,” said Cathy Clyde, a counselor at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. “This is helping them to meet their needs and make them more comfortable, and (letting them know) that they can fit in with the rest of the kids.
“We are very appreciative of the community for taking an interest in our students.”