Longwood students help little Eagles stay warm

Published 1:28 pm Thursday, November 5, 2015

By Italia Gregory

The Farmville Herald

Longwood University’s Physical and Health Education Teacher Education

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(PHETE) First organization has been busy collecting new coats for Prince Edward County Elementary School students over the past several weeks.

According to Dr. Vonnie Colvin, the program coordinator and a professor of physical education, PHETE First has made several donations to school in the form of undergarments and sweatpants in the past, and the coat drive is a new initiative.

Colvin said the idea was born when a member of PHETE First noticed a sign at Prince Edward County Elementary that expressed the need for coats.

Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith said he was glad that the Longwood student was observant and wanted to help the school.

“Those efforts are always helpful for families in need,” he said. “We’re very appreciative.”

Smith said the coat drive is a good community service outreach program for the students of Longwood.

Currently, PHETE First is collecting new coats for children ages 4-11 in boys and girls sizes. Preferably, the donated coats should have a hood. Colvin said the coats do not have to be a designer brand.

“Any coat is a coat that will keep a child warm [is acceptable],” she said.

“PHETE First has been donating multiple items of clothing for Prince Edward County Elementary School for the past couple of years, but delivering winter coats is the most meaningful item to me,” said Ashley Brown, president of PHETE First. “The thought of a young child in a t-shirt waiting at their bus stop in 30-degree weather is extremely worrisome. My mind can’t fathom that a winter coat is luxury to some children. In some circumstances, children may not attend school some days because they simply don’t have winter coats.”

Colvin said students majoring in physical education have been a big help with the drive.

She said that a lot of Longwood students were not aware there are children in the area that that are without everyday necessities.

“It’s not just warmth, it’s their education on the line,” Brown said. “Our goal is to lessen this from happening and provide those children the warmth and the education they deserve.”

PHETE First will be accepting donations for new coats until Nov. 16. Those interested in making a donation should drop off coats at Longwood in Willett Hall, room 104K.