PONCE DE LEON - Perhaps the hottest community project going on right now is the one that wishes to promise warmth to children in need of coats.
And Ponce De Leon Volunteer Fire and Rescue is carrying the torch.
PDLVF is collecting coats, gloves and hats as part of its All Bundled Up fall drive. The items will be distributed to local children in need.
The group hopes to collect 100 of each coats, gloves and hats.
"I decided to host this drive due to the fact that no child should be cold," said Gynell Pettis-Hunter, Public Relations Lieutenant at PDLVF, noting it is the first time the department has held a drive of its kind. "Every child deserves a warm jacket, gloves and hat. Kids have too much to deal with as it is they shouldn't have to worry about being cold or teased because they do not have a coat or because the coat is not in good shape."
New or gently used items for all school ages should be dropped off at Town Hall. Also, other arrangements may be made by contacting Hoses & Halligans or PDLVF on Facebook.
"This drive should be important to the community as these children are our future," Pettis-Hunter said. "If we are unable to provide for their basic needs, they will not grow up with a good attitude about our community or think that they are worthy of having something as simple as a coat."
Truly the children are very special to the PDLVF. In addition to All Bundled Up, the group is hosting its first annual Christmas Ornament Crafting Party, at which children come to the station to craft an ornament at $1 per ornament. Refreshments will be available for 50-cents each.
Also, PDLVF will host a Gun Raffle for a DiamondBack AR that includes 100 rounds of ammo, a soft case, a spare magazine and a RedDot 2 laser scope. Tickets are $15 each with only 300 tickets being sold. A winner will be chosen Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.
Pettis-Hunter went on to say although the hurricane and holidays are very important, the essence of PDLVF's desire to support local children and the community is about fostering "a love for our youth and teach them that giving and receiving is essential to life."
"It's not about Christmas, its not about the hurricane, its about providing our children with the basics and teaching them love for the community and those in it," she said.