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The Lake News Online
  • Coat drive to benefit students and community

  • With the piercing chill of a Missouri winter setting in, some lake residents are taking strides to take care of their own. One Osage Beach Elementary parent noticed how some children were attending school without necessities like a winter coat.
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  • With the piercing chill of a Missouri winter setting in, some lake residents are taking strides to take care of their own. One Osage Beach Elementary parent noticed how some children were attending school without necessities like a winter coat.
    "As a parent, it breaks my heart to see these little kiddos shivering as they walked to the school building. I understand some kids will just not wear coats, but that is not always the case. For others it is not an option, they have none," Stephanie Gerber, vice president of the Osage Beach Parent Teacher Organization said. "It takes nothing to point a problem out. To care enough, to concentrate and execute a solution, is everything."
    After seeing a problem and figuring out a solution, Gerber reached out to local businesses for help. A variety of businesses including Wal-Mart in Osage Beach, Osage Beach branch library, Damsel Cleaners, Beach Laundry, Fitz Fishing, Bad Donkey Tattoo Shop and Hairspray Cafe have offered up their location as a drop-off destination. For Gerber, the community response has been overwhelming.
    "To see the local businesses and people in the community unite to support this venture is truly inspirational," Gerber said. "Including being coat drop locations, Beach Laundry has supplied use of their large washers and Damsel has agreed to dry clean, as necessary, all donations."
    Giving is a lesson that a person any age can learn. Gerber is using this opportunity to teach her child what it means to help someone in need.
    "I have used this experience as a lesson for my Kindergartener, Dylan. It is our duty to act on what is for the good of everybody, not just ourselves. To have kind children, we must show them kindness. It is an attitude best done by example and not something you necessarily gain from text or lecture," she said.
    The coat drive will continue through Feb. 4. Osage Beach Elementary will host a "Coat Share Day" from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Feb. 16. All coats collected will be offered to Osage Beach Elementary students first then to the public. Students will arrive at 9 a.m. and the public is invited to browse the coats at 10 a.m. A donation jar will be available but a donation is not necessary. Money collected will be put in a PTO fund used to provide necessities for students in need.

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