The Northern Berkshire Santa Fund will be bringing coats instead of toys to area kids. Fund President Tammy Daniels said on iBerkshires.com that the decision was made in response to the needs of the community.

Daniels said, “We saw that other programs were providing toys but there was a gap in other items, so when we were asked to consider providing coats in October when children need them, we were excited about the opportunity.” Daniels and other staff at iBerkshires.com took over operation of the Santa Fund several years ago.

The program will work in partnership with Northern Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Community Action Council and the Rotary Club of North Adams. They have also linked up with Operation Warm, a national organization that creates its own line of brand new winter coats, then partners with organizations all across North America to give them to children.

This is where you & I come in. If you'd like to contribute to the Operation Warm Coat Fund, the cost to serve one child and provide one coat is $20. Donations can be made securely online here. I think that's even easier than running out to buy and drop-off a coat. The goal this year is to serve 300 children.

If you wish to apply for a coat for your child, you need to apply by Sept. 27. For more information or to apply, contact the Berkshire Community Action Council at 413-663-3014.

Oh, and don't fret over the toys. Santa will get help from the Elf Program at BCAC, which generally provides toys with their warm winter clothing distributed in December. Daniels said that all toys currently stored with the Santa Fund will be given to the Elf Program this year.