With freezing temperatures projected throughout this week, one Orlando community center has put out an emergency call for winter items to help keep the children in their neighborhood safe and warm.
The New Image Youth Center (NIYC) was founded in 2004 by Dr. Shanta Barton-Stubbs of Orlando (a fellow Edgewater High alumna — Go Eagles!) to provide local children a “safe place to learn and play,” and has since expanded to provide year-round services like tutoring, mentoring, after-school activities, and college preparation, to children from kindergarten through age 17.
NIYC has received numerous honors for its service to the community, including a Disney Community Grant last year. After seeing a Facebook post discussing NIYC’s efforts to help local kids stay warm in this week’s frigid weather, The Capitolist reached out to NIYC founder and executive director Barton-Stubbs by phone Tuesday evening for more information.
NIYC’s location in the Parramore neighborhood, right across from the Orlando City soccer stadium, has them perfectly situated to help. According to Barton-Stubbs, the children who participate in the programs at NIYC include those who are homeless, living in hotels, or in houses with inadequate heating or electricity. With Central Florida temperatures dropping into the low 30s, many lacked proper warm clothing.
“We recognized the need when kids were showing up underdressed for the cold,” said Barton-Stubbs. “We had kids coming to the Center just to get warm. We are always dealing with homeless kids, kids without shoes…our kids have year round needs, but this is an emergency.”
If you would like to help, Barton-Stubbs says they are collecting items for both boys and girls, in sizes from kindergarten to adult (to fit teenagers):
- Gloves and mittens
- Coats and jackets
- Socks, especially warm thermal type
- Packets of hot tea and hot cocoa
Anyone in the Orlando area can drop off new or gently used items from that list to NIYC from noon to 6 pm Wednesday.
You may also purchase items using Amazon Prime (selecting next day or preferably same day delivery) and ship to:
New Image Youth Center
212 South Parramore Ave.
Orlando, FL 32805
“This is an emergency need this week,” said Barton-Stubbs, “but our mission goes year round.”
For more information about the New Image Youth Center, visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter (@NewImageYouth). NIYC is a 501(c)3 organization and any donations are tax deductible.
If you know another organization that is providing a similar service to help children in Florida, please post the information in the comments. Thank you and stay warm!
Photo by Kars4Kids via Flickr.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.