Drive helps schoolchildren show up with proper coats - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Drive helps schoolchildren show up with proper coats

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One of the schools that will benefit from the coat drive is South Park Elementary School. There, not all of the students own a coat. One of the schools that will benefit from the coat drive is South Park Elementary School. There, not all of the students own a coat.
Action News 5 is partnering with the YWCA Greater Memphis and its Common Ground program to collect new coats for Memphis schoolchildren. Action News 5 is partnering with the YWCA Greater Memphis and its Common Ground program to collect new coats for Memphis schoolchildren.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The temperatures may be rising compared to where they started earlier this week, but some Mid-South children are still going outside without the proper winter attire.

Action News 5 is partnering with the YWCA and Common Ground to meet that need with a coat drive. So far, more than 200 coats have been donated and more than $1,000 has been raised for the cause.

One of the schools that will benefit from the coat drive is South Park Elementary School. Not all of the students there own a coat.

"We're about 98 percent free and reduced lunch," said South Park Elementary School Principal Rebecca Dapper. "So we are always having a constant need for clothes, hats, gloves, that kind of thing. This is an impoverished community, there's always a need."

Principal Dapper says 30 percent of her students did not come to school dressed for the elements. That is about 200 students.

"A lot of them just come with light jackets," said Dapper. "They don't have the coats they need."

That is why Action News 5 is partnering with the YWCA of Greater Memphis and Common Ground Ministry to take coat donations and money to purchase new coats.

Many donated coats made it to South Park Elementary School Thursday. Students were a little anxious and then became excited about picking out their new coats.

"It feels good, I like the color red," said fourth grade student Ashley Landcaster with her new coat.

Tracy Jarrells, with the Making It Happen Foundation, says everybody can do a little to help the kids.

"Everybody can do a little bit, and so this is what we can do," said  "You know social media is a great tool and when we heard there was a need, that y'all are doing a coat drive and that's something that you can do, so we just went into our Old Navy store and they hooked us up with hats and coats," she said.

Action News 5 stopped by the YWCA Thursday where retired teacher Ramelle Tuggle donated some coats. After 35 years of teaching in Memphis, she knew the record cold temperatures would be hard to bear for some most students.

"I've bought many coats many socks, many outfits back in the day, and it was just too cold to stand on the bus corner to stand with no coats on," she said. 

It is a small act of kindness that goes a long way to keeping kids warm during this cold snap.

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