This post was written by Nicolassa R., a sixth-grade scholar at Democracy Prep Endurance Middle School. Her classmates have nicknamed her the “Coat Donation Queen” because of her generosity!
My family has a tradition. Every year after the snow has finally melted and the longer days suggest that the beginning of Spring is near, we add our coats, mittens, gloves, and scarfs to our “Winter Stuff Closet” where we keep all of our gear until the seasons change again.
This year, before I returned to school after winter break, my family and I gathered around our pile of winter gear to pick out what we would need for the cold days ahead. As we tried on coats to see what still fit us, I reminded my parents that there was a coat drive happening at my school during the month of January. I was inspired by the donations my friends at school were making, and I wanted to help too! My parents told me that “we are always willing to donate to the less fortunate.”
We picked out what we needed, and then stuffed coats in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes into bags. I counted all of the coats we gathered, and I was surprised that we packed away 18 coats to donate!
My parents helped me drop off all of the coats at my school where they were picked up by Unidos Si Se Puede (United, Yes We Can), a non-profit organization that was started by Elva Guevara, the mom of two Harlem Prep Elementary students. The organization has collected more than 250 winter items from the DPE and HPE communities.
“Our mission is to serve the community without expecting anything in exchange,” said Ms. Guevara. “Everyone has been generous in giving sweaters, coats, and hats, and it’s really wonderful.”
In addition to donating clothes and food to people living on the streets of Harlem, Unidos Si Se Puede also collects backpacks, clothes, and toys to send to the Dominican Republic.
I was proud to donate 18 of the 26 coats that my homeroom collected. I hope that my donation will help people around the world (or at least in New York!) who are less fortunate stay warm when it is windy and cold.