Pratt Elks Lodge teams up with Pratt Public Library to provide warm coats, books to kids

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Heather Lynch, a preschool Bridges to Learning teacher, helps youngsters find and fit into new coats provided by the Pratt Elks Lodge, and get into new books from Pratt Public Library, last week in Pratt.

Pratt Elks Lodge members have a special Beacon Grant project that is near and dear to their hearts each year. Last week they distributed 35 new coats for kids in a tri-county area, giving the youngest students special attention and gifts that will warm their hearts, bodies and minds.

"This year we were able to partner with the Pratt Public Library to give out brand new books as well as the coats," said Linda Stelzer, a Pratt Elks Beacon Grant committee member. "The coats have fleece-lined hoods so they don't need hats, and the coats have deep pockets so their hands will be warm too. It's always fun to see how they love to pick out a coat, and then this year they seemed really hungry to get into those books too."

Stelzer said shoes have been given as part of the Beacon Grant, but it is the coats that seem to really fill a need in some areas.

"The whole idea is touch those kids who are really in need," Stelzer said. "The schools help us do that the best. The teachers know what sizes are needed and we go by their recommendations."

Stelzer said she contacted schools in Pratt, Kingman, Kiowa and Stafford counties this year, and there are still many coats to give away.

"I've got boxes and boxes of new, warm coats yet," she said. "Please feel free to contact us (Linda Stelzer, Dani Ricke and Brenda Riffey) if you know of a need."