Bay District Schools giving away free jackets to students in need

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools is working to ensure every student bundles up this fall by giving away free jackets.

Volunteers will continue working so children can keep warm this holiday season. (WJHG/WECP)

"These jackets are targeted primarily at the students who are homeless or displaced from the storm. We have more than 3,000 of those kids in the district. And then we also have extras for needy students," said Bay District Schools Public Information Officer Sharon Michalik.

Volunteers in the warehouse sort each jacket by size and organize them according to what each school ordered.

Jackets in the warehouse Thursday only make up half the order. An estimated 6,000 to 7,000 jackets will be given to children in need. This is all thanks to a Georgia-based company called Smith & Davis.

"Well, when they saw the weather and realized how cold it was here, and we didn't have these jackets. The 80-year-old patriarch of the family-owned business drove these down yesterday. So, he drove all the way down here, dropped them off, turned around and drove back, which is just amazing," Michalik said.

The school board doesn't normally provide jackets, but after the hurricane, they said they're doing everything they can to support students.

"We know what we're doing counts, and it matters," Michalik said.

Elementary schools already collected their orders. Northside Principal Amy Harvey said they received about 120 coats. She also said it's a small token to contribute to struggling families.

"Us being able to take this off their plate and making sure the kids have warm coats for the winter is just a tremendous help for everybody," Harvey added.

Volunteers will continue working so children can keep warm this holiday season.

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