PELL CITY – Fall has officially started, which means winter is just around the corner.

That means cold weather, and for Eleanor Clinkscales Davis, that means many 4-year-old children who attend St. Clair County Head Start do not have jackets for winter.

“We need 220 jackets,” Davis said. “They need to be sizes 5, 5T, 5-6 or 6 for boys and girls.”

Davis, who heads up Refuge Ministries, has been helping students in different ways for more than 30 years.

“We have to take care of these children and provide jackets for them before the first cold snap hits, which is generally in November,” she said. “These precious little kids need something warm to wear when they are outside waiting on the school bus in cold weather.

“We would like for these jackets to have hoods on them as well. If we don’t have hoods, these kids will get ear aches.”

Davis said used jackets will be accepted, but they must be clean and in good repair.

Several individuals are helping Davis with this project.

Cheryl Fagan is executive director of the St. Clair County Children’s Policy Council, and Terrie Dickey has also agreed to volunteer her time to help.

“This is the third or fourth year that the Children’s Policy Council has helped Refuge Ministries,” Fagan said. “We are excited to help Mrs. Clinkscales Davis with this project that will help so many of our young children.”

Dickey has been in home health for 23 years.

“I am very thankful to get started in this type of ministry,” Dickey said. “I’m ready to help these young kids through this program. To me, it’s a like an early Christmas for them.”

Anyone wishing to help with this project should call Davis at 205-472-0220, Fagan at 205-338-8847 or Dickey at 205-641-9898.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.