At its annual Hanukkah dinner Temple Israel collected winter clothes for Omaha-area children in need. Congregants were asked to bring new or gently-used winter clothes like coats, hats, scarves and gloves to donate to elementary school kids.

“We emphasize the fact of giving and realize there are people who have much less than we do,” said Shari Hess, who works at Chandler View Elementary School and sees up close the need for these cold weather clothes, especially winter coats.

“We get very large coats and very small coats, but not many medium-sized coats,” Hess said.

Temple Israel members donated many items, mostly gloves, hats and scarves, which Hess distributed to children at her school and two other elementary schools.

Donating, especially at this time of year, can also be used as an educational opportunity for kids who are maybe used to receiving more than giving.

“It’s a good lesson to consider your own situation and be grateful for that, and to also be thinking of others,” Hess said. “It can bring up family conversation. Parents talk to children about why they participate in something like this, so i think that adds to the learning process.”

Hess is still accepting donated clothing, which can be dropped off at Temple Israel during normal business hours.