CN distributes more than 5K winter gift cards
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s Human Services Clothing Assistance Program helped 5,094 Cherokee children buy winter coats in 2017.
Human Services offered the assistance in 2006 as a pilot program, helping Cherokee children buy school outfits. In 2011, it was expanded to help buy winter coats.
“The goal of the program when it first began was for children to have at least one new outfit to start their school year with. It wasn’t until several years later when this program was in implementation then they decided to do the coats. It was a (Tribal) Council initiative to begin with,” Family Assistance Manager Angela King said.
The program ensures children are able to buy coats using $50 gift cards at Stage department stores. A 40 percent off coupon is also provided by the store to use with the gift card.
“We want them to buy a coat, but if they’re unable to buy a coat or it can’t fit them or whatever, then they can get a hoodie or sweater or jacket rather than a coat. If they have any money left over they can get mittens or gloves, winter-related items,” King said.
Eligible students who receive gift cards must be Cherokee Nation citizens, live within the CN jurisdictional area, be enrolled students in grades kindergarten through 12th, and parents or guardians must provide utility bills as proof of residence and verifications of income.
Students who received $100 summer gift cards are automatically eligible for winter gift cards. In 2016, 6,486 children received $100 gift cards for Stage stores to help buy school outfits.
Clothing Assistance Program officials set up at 11 sites in the tribe’s jurisdiction when the application process begins.
King said she encourages parents to visit the www.cherokee.org
in the spring for updated information on when to apply, locations and deadlines.
For more information, call 918-453-5000.