It is just a few days into the new year, and some community members are stepping in to help a nonprofit that suffered a major loss.
Organizers from Give a Kid a Coat lost hundreds of donated items during a recent fire. The workers at Operation Community Care make it their business to help children from infants to 17-year-olds. They also do a tremendous amount of work providing supplies and resources to families and the unemployed.
Workers said that when they heard another local nonprofit suffered a major loss during a fire, they had to step in and do something.
Operation Community Care is rallying community members to help collect outerwear to replace the coats and jackets that Give a Kid a Coat lost in the fire. The fire happened at the north Dallas home of Give a Kid a Coat board member Sir Earl Toon. Many may know Sir Earl Toon from the renowned band Kool and the Gang.
"What touched me was, he never said anything about himself," Operation Community Care organizer Jeannette Berry said. "His focus was on he had lost those coats for those kids.”
Give a Kid a Coat has been working since December to collect 5,000 jackets for children in need. The coats are distributed to students in schools across Dallas-Fort Worth and other cities across the country.
"It hurts,” Berry said. “People don't understand that coats are simple needs for some people, but some people can't even buy their kids a coat.”
It in that spirit of service to others, local nonprofits and community organizers are wasting no time stepping in.
"We want to make sure we keep our kids warm,” Juilus Ishola said.
Ishola is a young father and co-founder of a nonprofit called L.I.L.Y.S., which provides transportation services. Ishola said he saw the call to action for coat donations on social media.
"During my time of trials, I had so many people come and bless me in my time of need,” Ishola said. “I just want to be a blessing to others.”
Collecting the coats over the next two weeks is a small, grassroots gesture for a nonprofit in need. Community members said they know the donated items will go a long way.
"Our slogan is not on our watch,” Berry said, “so we are ready."
Anyone interested in donating coats to Give a Kid a Coat can visit the organization's website.
Operation Community Care is also collecting coats and jackets to deliver to the group. You can contact Jeanette Berry for more details at 469-394-7653.