School nursing staff of the New Bedford Educators Association collected more than $3,900 in donations for their annual winter coat drive. With the donations, the staff were able to purchase more than $5,000 worth of clothing and toiletries for students in need with discounts from local businesses.
Funds were used to purchase not only coats, but socks, underwear, toiletries and other items for students in need. Packages of items were also organized by school nurses for their students.
“Each year, the school nurses of the New Bedford Educators Association collect donations and organize this coat drive to ensure that students in need have warm winter clothing, as well as many other necessities for the winter,” said NBEA President Lou St. John. “It is a time to work on behalf of our community and our children.”
Interim Supervisor of School Nurses Wanda Nunes said that the donations are for students of all grade levels and across all schools in New Bedford. Several members of the nursing staff from across the district participated in shopping for warm winter clothing and items in need for students.
“We are thankful for the work of our school nurses in organizing this drive to serve the children in New Bedford who are most in need,” said Superintendent Pia Durkin. “Our school staff are the people who best know the challenges and needs of their students, and this is an opportunity to best serve those students.”
Peter Muise, President & CEO of First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union, which was a major sponsor of the drive and included donation boxes in their New Bedford branches, said the credit union is proud to be a part of the coat drive.
“We are very involved in the community, and do a lot of work with the homeless population. This is really an extension of that work,” said Muise. “What you sometimes lose sight of is the children in these families in need, and this is one of the signature events the NBEA does for the community.”
NBEA received contributions from First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and School Committee member Bruce J. Oliveira.
Anyone interested in supporting the Winter Coat Drive may contact Lou St. John, NBEA President, at or 508-984-4441.

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