Warm The Children
  166 Skunk Misery Road
Higganum, CT 06441
 
860-345-4873 

           E-mail:
mack@warmthechildren.org         


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FAQS

What is Warm The Children?

Warm The Children is a program, administered locally by a newspaper and, most often a charity organization partner, providing new winter clothing for needy children in the newspaper’s hometown area.  

 Quickly, in a nutshell, tell me how the Warm The Children program works.

Early in the fall (and into the winter) a newspaper launches its campaign by publishing informative articles and “house ads” that describe the program and asks for community assistance....through monetary donations, and shopper volunteers.  At the same time, the newspaper contacts local social service agencies and school systems to obtain information on needy families in the area.  

Once funds are in place and volunteer shoppers and needy families are lined up, the sponsoring newspaper coordinates the shopping trips at a pre-designated store (or stores). Families and volunteers meet at a store to shop for new winter clothing for the children in need, and the store directly bills the newspaper’s Warm the Children program for all purchases (no money ever changes hands between shoppers, families and stores).  As a show of support, participating stores are strongly encouraged to provide discounts to shoppers.  

 

Why would my newspaper want to be a Warm The Children sponsor?
Several reasons, not the least of which is the good will sponsorship brings.  Publishers of sponsoring newspapers say the program builds trust in the community toward the newspaper; employees feel their newspaper is doing a very unselfish thing helping their less fortunate neighbors; volunteer shoppers like to know they are personally involved in helping their neighbors. Donors feel kindly toward the newspaper because it is making something really good happen in the community. Of great importance, donors like the idea that every penny of their donation will be used to buy new winter clothing for needy children in their town, and that nothing is skimmed off for ‘administration.

 

A Warm The Children program sounds like lots of work, and if there’s anything I don’t need it’s more work!

Sure, there’s some work involved but Warm The Children’s founder, a retired newspaper publisher, designed the program to provide great benefit for needy people who might otherwise do without, and to accomplish this with the least amount of effort and cost (there’s hardly any). Sponsoring newspapers say if you follow the Warm The Children game plan the work is minimal – and if you don’t (follow the game plan) it can be a lot of needless work.  

 

What does the Warm The Children organization do for my newspaper to make the program work?

Warm The Children Inc. (Mack and Natalie Stewart) provides everything a newspaper needs to implement a successful program and continues, after implementation, to serve as a resource. Some of the things newspapers enjoy are:  

 

1.

A detailed game plan for making a Warm The Children program work

2.

Training for the person who will serve as program coordinator

3.

Access to the Stewarts as a resource when questions & problems arise

4.

Assistance in partnering with a local charity (so the charity’s EIN # can go on the Warm The Children bank account), or in obtaining its own EIN#.

5.

Camera ready “house ads” asking readers for donations

6.

Copies of news articles, columns and editorials sponsoring newspapers run about their Warm The Children programs

7.

Help (when needed) in establishing relations with stores, and help in resolving any billing disputes with stores

8.

Help in establishing relationship with social service providers

9.

Help in recruiting shoppers – especially from service clubs

10.

On going support and problem solving help  
 

How much does it cost to sponsor the Warm The Children program?
Nothing. There's no fee (although voluntary contributions are gladly accepted). Beyond that there’s only the postage on thank you letters to donors. 

 

Aren’t there other costs?      
No.  

 

 


 

 

When I tell my readers about the program what is the most appealing aspect (as far as they are concerned)?
Readers like knowing that every cent they donate will used to buy new winter clothing for needy children in their hometown – that nothing is skimmed off for administration, and that no part of their donation goes off to a national organization.  

 

Are reader donations to my Warm The Children program tax deductible?
Yes. Whether a sponsoring newspaper gets its own EIN# or uses a local charity’s, donations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

Is there a lot of record keeping?

No. Of course there’s some because, as with any worthwhile effort, good records are a must (if for no other reason than to satisfy auditor and IRS needs).

A major part of the Stewart’s Warm The Children game plan and training is devoted to record keeping, so program coordinators receive plenty of record-keeping direction with emphasis placed on keeping accurate and truly needed records, and nothing more


When readers send donations they usually send, with their check, the coupon from the ad – so it’s easy to keep track of donors (name, address and amount of donation in Excel is what most coordinators do). These names & address records are useful, too, in sending out thank you notes and in preparing thank-you house ads.  When a child is taken shopping the shopper has a purchase order (which serves to identify them as a legitimate Warm The Children shopper) for each child, and a copy of this with a store receipt is retained as proof the shopping trip took place. These items constitute the most important pieces of Warm The Children program record keeping.  

 

I run a newspaper (which is a business, here to make money), why would I want to take on the Warm The Children project?
Most successful newspapers have programs that address community relations simply

because a good image in the community is good for circulation and advertising. Warm The Children newspapers tell us that the program:  
 

1.

Enhances their newspaper’s image in the communities it serves

2.

Provides an opportunity to enhance advertiser relations (stores like the idea of hundreds, even thousands of dollars, in ‘plus’ sales)

3.

Helps needy people who may not be eligible for help from another source

4.

Gets citizens of a community involved (as shoppers) in a partnership with their newspaper

5.

Treats recipient families with dignity and respect (as customers of the store)

6.

Costs next to nothing

7.

Is easy to implement and administer (there’s lots of assistance from Warm The Children, Inc.)

 

Warm The Children
 
166 Skunk Misery Road
Higganum, CT 06441
 
860-345-4873 
E-mail: mack@warmthechildren.org

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May 30, 2007