Wellington coat drive helps kids bundle up

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Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise
Bill Schlather, sophomore Kaitlyn Diller, and Audrey Nichols drop roughly 200 winter clothing items off Nov. 16 at Wellington High School. Diller’s idea for a clothing drive led to a $1,000 donation for even more items from the Schlather Insurance Agency.

JONATHAN DELOZIER
REPORTER

Roughly 200 cold weather clothing items will soon be given to district kids thanks to one Wellington High School student’s initiative.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Diller’s idea for a clothing drive led her to contact Schlather Insurance Agency, 149 East Herrick Ave., through her mother, Schlather agent Audrey Nichols.

“My mom and I were looking through Facebook together and we saw a little boy in Wellington who needed a coat,” Diller said. “So, we got the idea to get this going at the school so all the kids could have coats.”

Schlather Insurance bought $1,000 worth of items to add to what Diller had already collected.

On Nov. 16, Diller, Nichols, and business owner Bill Schlather delivered the payload to WHS.

Nichols said it’s the agency’s first drive in Wellington but that some have been conducted through its Elyria office.

“We’re at right around 100 coats, 60 gloves, and 30 hats,” Nichols said. “Some students have been bringing in items and (principal Tina) Drake has offered community service time in exchange that helps with their graduation requirements.”

Diller personally delivered a coat this past week to a McCormick Middle School student who was in immediate need of warm clothing.

She offered some advice on turning positive thinking into action.

“A lot of people have everything they need and they don’t think about the kids,” Diller said. “A lot of people can’t afford things they need, so it’s important to help and keep them in mind. Just do it. It’s not going to hurt anyone. It’s going to make everything better in the district and in the school, so take the leap.”

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