Good Neighbors

Principal Rallies Community To Get Coats For All Her Students

She didn't want anyone to feel left out, so she took on the challenge of gathering over 400 coats.

With temperatures dropping all over the country, families are bundling up their kiddos to protect them from the cold. But for those who are struggling to make ends meet, it's not always possible to buy a new winter coat every year. That's why, when principal Felicia Jackson noticed that some of her students were coming to school without jackets, she knew she had to do something about it.

Jackson is the principal of Anna K. Davies Elementary School in Rome, GA. After one of her students asked her for a jacket on a particularly chilly day, she reached out to her friend, Shameke Harvey, about having a coat drive. They thought it might be difficult to find out which students needed the coats and which ones didn't, so they decided to get coats for all of the students at the school.

"God laid it on my heart to get 420 coats," Jackson (pictured below) told the Rome-News Tribune .

Jackson knew she wouldn't be able to collect that many donations on her own, so she reached out to the community for help. Her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Lake Oconee Area Alumni Chapter, quickly signed on to collect coats, hats, scarves and gloves, along with Car Mart in Rome and Heritage Auto Group.

The coat drive was one of the largest fundraising efforts made by the district, ever. Jackson's own family and friends even donated around $5,000 to make sure all of the students were covered.

"What Miss Jackson is doing is unreal," Jeff Overby, the area district manager of Car Mart for Alabama and Georgia, said. "We're just glad that we can get involved. We don't want any publicity. We're just glad we can help."

The school packed up each of the coats in gift bags on Friday and began passing them out to the students. According to a Facebook post on the Annie K. Davie Elementary page, they ran out of time and plan to continue the coat drive once the students return from winter break.

Jackson, along with the other teachers and staff, say they're overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.

"We've been crying all week," Jackson said. "Not tears of sadness, but tears of joy to get so many children something for Christmas."

She said she hopes to continue the drive each year to make sure students are always warm for the winter.

If you're in the Rome, GA area and would like to donate to the coat drive at Anna K. Davie Elementary, you can reach out to Joshua McClure, the director of communications at Rome City Schools, at .

If you aren't in Georgia, but still want to help, you can consider starting your own winter clothing or blanket drive to help vulnerable communities near you. Here's a good article with some tips on how to get started. Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

(Source: images Anna K. Davie Elementary Facebook )

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