When Dawn Cramer, secretary for the East Syracuse Fire Department, looks through the large double doors onto North Center Street, she doesn't always like what she sees. Kids run past all day long wearing no coats, no hats, no gloves nor shoes, she said. Not one to turn a blind eye, Cramer initiated a clothing drive that's survived -- and thrived - by word of mouth.
"Kids are innocent," she said. "If there's something I can do to help them, then that's what I want to do, and if I can afford it, I'm sure there's other people out there who can [too].
Cramer enlisted the help of family and friends to get the ball rolling, called area schools and found all to be on board. Donations followed.
"We spend the money at the Thrifty Shopper, St. Matthew's secondhand shop and Emmanuel's shop right here in the village so the money stays here and benefits those organizations, too," she said.
What's still needed?
Children's clothing anywhere from kindergarten sizes up to small adult sizes (10-12, 14-16) and a little bit larger on the girls end, Cramer said. Additionally, sweatpants with an elastic waistband, sweatshirts and hoodies are hits among kids. Hats, gloves, boots and sneakers of every size, as well as underclothes, are also appreciated.
"We're doing this through the winter because it doesn't just stop at Christmas," Cramer said. "I wanted to keep this going."
To find out more details or to make a donation, stop by the fire department at 204 North Center Street to make a drop off, or email Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org.