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Coats for Kids

ACOE staff donate over 45 new coats to local charity

Group shot: Bernadine Dutra, Founder of OneChild; Eileen McDonald, Alameda County Board of Education President; L. Karen Monr December 2016 – In this season of giving, the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) partnered with local East Bay charity OneChild to gather over 45 brand new warm coats for children in Alameda County. Led by the vision of Alameda County Board of Education President Eileen McDonald and Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe, ACOE staff collected coats to be donated to youth in kindergarten through twelfth grades.

Board President Eileen McDonald initially suggested that ACOE partner with OneChild. She stated, “I love the mission of OneChild to support Alameda County families by focusing on building self-worth and self-esteem. Having a new coat to call your own can have a big impact on a child emotionally and physically and I am just thrilled to have helped raise awareness and support for families in need this holiday season.”

OneChild is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged youth with new clothing and school supplies. The main goal of the organization is to promote self-esteem in underprivileged children so that they may appreciate their individual worth. The family-run organization was the vision of matriarch Bernadine Dutra, who, having grown up in poverty, was teased as a child for wearing used clothing. She created OneChild with the goal of offering families dignity in receiving donations by providing them with individualized shopping sessions for brand new items at the OneChild store, in order to prevent children and families from enduring the humiliation she felt as a child. OneChild began in Fremont and now serves families throughout the Bay Area.

Superintendent Monroe commented, “We were excited to have ACOE staff involved in this effort. The coats donated will help students in need, while the message of supporting a child’s self-esteem with fundamental items has further inspired our staff in their daily commitment to Alameda County’s children.”

The coat drive was one of two donation drives that ACOE staff supported this season. Every year, ACOE staff donate various store gift cards to the students at ACOE’s court and community schools. This year they presented the coats to OneChild representatives at the annual staff holiday party.