GREENSBURG – At the recent Daily News Back to School Bash at the YMCA, more than 200 coats were given to local school-age children by the little known and rarely publicized organization Decatur County 4 Kids.

With educating the public about child abuse prevention as their main directive, Daily News readers might be familiar with the organization through the brightly-colored pinwheels that are displayed throughout the community in April.

Leann Porter, who works with DC4K, explained.

"We are the local child abuse council that have been functioning in Decatur County for about 10 years. About four years ago, we had the thought that local kids might appreciate new coats as they start their school year," she said. "So, we decided to start writing grants and chose that as a good cause. There are a few of us that are coat watchers, and we know where to shop and buy coats pretty cheap, so that's how this movement started."

Writing grants to local organizations, the Devon Parsons Foundation, Speedway Convenience Stores, Wolf Theatres, the DCCF and REMC, to name a few, Porter and and her coat watchers shop throughout the year and place their "catch" in a storage trailer until the Back to School Bash, their primary event for coat distribution.

As is true of many charitable organizations in the area, Decatur County 4 Kids desperately needs volunteer help.

"We always need help," Porter said. "If people are interested in helping, they should send mail to P.O. Box 553 in Greensburg."

Porter said that the first few years of running the Coats for Kids cause, DC4K accepted used coats.

"We found that some of the coats we were receiving weren't in the best of condition, and how would you feel if your new coat for this school year was already used? And some were ragged, so we just decided to go the buy new route," she said.

Anyone with an interest in helping DC4K financially is encouraged to do so. Donations of cash are preferred, but all are accepted. All personnel working as members of Decatur County 4 Kids are unpaid.

DC4K is looking for volunteers. Their monthly meetings are held at 4 p.m. the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September and November at the Decatur County Department of Child Services office, 1025 E. Freeland Road, Greensburg.

More information is available by calling 812-571-0153.

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Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111 ext. 7011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com.

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