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Warm the Children program postponed

GLOVERSVILLE — Concerns from community volunteers and business partners surrounding the coronavirus contributed to the decision by The Leader-Herald that organizing the Warm the Children program is not feasible this year.

Warm the Children is a co-operative program between local newspapers and the communities they serve. Each year sponsoring newspapers across the country coordinate the program, collecting donations that are fully contributed to purchasing new warm winter clothing for school age children.

Budgeted amounts per child are handed off to organized volunteer shoppers from the community who take eligible families out to local stores where kids can select their own winter gear to purchase.

The Leader-Herald began participating in Warm the Children in 1993, often working with the Salvation Army to identify families in Fulton County to support through the program.

The aspect of the program that long maintained the engagement of community volunteers and business partners as they were closely connected with local families made continuing its operation this year a challenge as social distancing guidelines and other restrictions remain in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As a result, it was ultimately concluded that local sponsorship of the program was not possible this year.

“This was a difficult decision for all of us here at The Leader-Herald. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our business partners and volunteers feel uncomfortable moving forward with Warm the Children,” said Publisher Trevor Evans.

Participants are hopeful that the suspension of the program sponsorship will be limited to this year, although Evans acknowledged uncertainty over the persistence of the coronavirus and related restrictions to slow its spread next year could again impact the program.

“With the restrictions placed on our business partners and the inability to properly practice social distancing, all parties involved feel postponing Warm the Children was our best option,” said Evans. “Unfortunately, due to ever changing business structure with our business partners, continuing Warm the Children in 2021 may also be affected.”

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