Cypress Wesleyan Church in Galloway, Ohio, recently sponsored a coat drive, and more than 1,200 adults and children in inner-city Columbus received a new coat just in time for Christmas. A missions-minded church, Cypress supports both local and global outreaches every year, and the coat outreach is a priority.
Nicole Yoakem, a church member and local elementary school teacher, knew that God wanted her to “do more than bring a coat to donate.”
“Many children come to school wearing clothes that are either too small or too big, have holes in their shoes, and no coat or ripped coats that don't zip,” says Nicole. “Every year I buy a couple of coats for my students because I feel awful standing outside at recess in my coat and gloves and seeing them freezing with a t-shirt on and no coat. The coat drive was the answer to my prayers for several of my students and other students in our school.”
The day before the coat drive, students at her school received a letter announcing the event.
“I prayed and prayed that families would go and get their children coats so they wouldn’t be cold outside at recess anymore,” says Nicole. Soon after the coat drive, she noticed several had walked into the classroom with new coats. One first grader said everyone in his family visited the drive, and each member of his family received a new coat.
“He said, ‘This coat actually fits me and it doesn’t have holes in it,’” said Nicole. What he said next brought tears to the teacher’s eyes. He told her it was the first coat he’d ever had that zipped. Nicole says every student in her class who needed a coat went to the drive hosted by Cypress Wesleyan. Many other students at the school commented that they’d found new coats at “the church that was giving away coats for free.”
Click here to see a video about the coat drive.