Caldwell County's HOPE Family Resource Center is continuing its tradition of giving coats to children in need this winter.

"All the kids get really excited about it," risk coordinator Stephanie Randall said. "We have different colors, styles and sizes so they get to come in and pick their own coat out."

Randall said any child in need is able to get a coat for free.

"Currently in my center, there are about 50 to 60 winter coats available," Randall said. "Parents can easily call us and we bring the child to our offices to pick one out."

Resource centers are located in each of the county's schools. Randall is the coordinator for the primary and elementary schools. Theresa Ray is the coordinator for the COPE youth service center and serves the middle and high schools.

Randall said a majority of the coats in the centers were donated from the Knights of Columbus, a global Catholic fraternal service organization, and from Princeton's Cash Express, which conducted a coat drive for the resource center.

"The Family Resource Center has been giving out winter coats since we came to the schools," Randall said. "We are a resource to families that have children in our district with any kind of needs."

The HOPE center has been in Caldwell County schools for almost 30 years.

"The mission of the center is to eliminate barriers for the children's academic success," Randall said.

She said resource centers were a program that came along in 1990, with the passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act.

"We're trying to help remove anything that hinders a child from learning," Randall said. "Whether that be getting them warm coats so they can get to school or helping them make sure they have stable food at home and aren't hungry."

She said the center also provides school supplies, and help with clothes and food.

"We try to help with any kind of resource the family might need," Randall said. "Every day is different."

"We have students come in for pencils, crayons and even chapstick because their lips are chapped this time of year."

There are no income requirements for the center; if a child comes in with a need, the center helps, Randall said.

She said the resource center welcomes donations from the community.

"We accept coats, clothing, and shoe donations with open arms," Randall said. "They can be brand new or gently used, we appreciate either."

If your child is in need of a winter coat, or for more information about the resource center, call 270-365-8050.