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Give Back Traer for the Kids

December 2, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor (cjeilers@traerstarclipper.com) , Traer Star-Clipper

Each week, the Joe Morris State Farm agency Facebook page puts up anonymous clothing needs for local children as part of his Give Back Traer initiative focusing on kids.

Morris has been partnering with Michelle Podhajsky of Chick Studios since March to help with his social media. That evolved into starting Give Back Traer, which changes the donation organization every two months. Beginning this month, Morris started the clothing drive after initially considering causes such as Toys for Tots and Adopt a Family with Podhajsky. However, several locations in town already are working with those programs. Instead, Podhajsky reached out to Toni Whannel with CHAT and learned that children were going to school without "proper, basic clothing."

"Socks, underwear, the right pants, it's not just winter coats," Podhajsky said. "Kids need basic t-shirts, sweatpants, the right size of clothing. People are donating used or new items, but not for a specific child for their size and needs."

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Whannel has worked with Morris and Podhajsky to set them up with anonymous families, only specifying sizes and what age range they are. Then, they put the information on the agency's Facebook page. People may select which items they wish to buy new, bring it to Morris's office during regular business hours, and it's wrapped to be picked up for delivery to the family.

The program has already raised $400 worth of items for four kids in need. Monetary donations have also been expected and volunteer "Secret Santas" go out to buy items. Some donors have bought items for a whole family. Morris and Podhajsky have worked to spread the news beyond Facebook knowing not everyone uses social media.

"Our goal is to get the kids the appropriate dress," Morris said. "We have a community of resources to do this.

Morris and Podhajsky hopes that Give Back Traer continues to focus on charities or organizations dedicated to kids as long as there is a need.

"It's shocking how many kids are on free/reduced lunches when I learned about it," Morris said. "My kids have all grown up and I never foresaw this much of a need. If we can help in any way, we're going to do it."

Donors interested in taking part in Give Back Traer may check out the list of items requested at facebook.com/JoeMorrisStateFarmAgent or contact his office at (319) 478-8310. All items purchased must be new and include a gift receipt with items. All items will be given after being received as children need these clothing items now. There is no limit to how many items a person can purchase or times they may donate.

 
 
 

 

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