Warm the Children had its beginning in 1988 in Torrington, CT. Mack Stewart, publisher of the town’s local newspaper, was driving to work on a cold, November day and saw little children waiting for the school bus, many of whom were inadequately clothed, with only sweatshirts to shield them from the cold and snow.  Stewart thought his newspaper, the Register-Citizen could do something to help. He’d worked for a newspaper in Troy, NY, which had a program called Clothe-a-Child that provided clothing for Troy’s neediest children. With a few modifications, Warm the Children was born.

The Register-Citizen asked its readers for donations; every cent was set aside for the purchase of new, winter clothing for Torrington’s neediest. The Salvation Army identified families to be served; volunteer shoppers met families at a local department store, purchasing approximately $80 of new clothing for each child. That first year, the newspaper raised $20,000 and served 249 youngsters. There are now 30 Warm the Children programs around the country, including our program, which supports families in need within the greater Hamburg area.