Springfield families in need receive free winter coat

Hampden County

Dozens of families received some much-needed help on Saturday, when they gathered at the DeBerry Elementary school in Springfield, for a free winter coat and a hot meal. 

“Trying to make sure that any of those that may be in need of a winter coat, have an opportunity to get one,” said William Zachery, the President of the Black Men of Greater Springfield organization. A group that provides resources and mentorship to at-risk-teens.

Savers and the Salvation Army provided the coats.

“Savers and the Salvation Army came through. They gave us tons and tons of coats, at the last minute,” said organizer Tashea Jenkins. 

Jenkins partnered with the Black Men of Greater Springfield, along with the martial arts School of the Noble Warrior to provide winter coats and community resources for those in need.

As the temperature continues to drop, organizers wanted to make sure everyone would have a jacket including babies.

“I would do this for like everybody. Homeless people, little kids, like people like me, because everybody needs one,” said 12-year old, Springfield native, Saviaghn Watkins, who received a new red fleece.

Watkins told 22News the new jacket will help keep him warm, not to mention, it’s stylish.

Springfield Police officer, and organizer, Ahmad Sharif knows first hand how dangerous the cold can be. 

“There’s been calls that I’ve been to, where, unfortunately, we have homeless individuals and they were found frozen, so its very trying times,” said Officer Sharif

Any leftover jackets will be donated, just as they were for this event.

“Like, I have a coat already, but you can have another one, so if someone needs it, you can gift it to someone, if they don’t have one,” said 10-year-old Cqahnr Dyer of Springfield. 

Making these winter coats, the gift that keeps giving. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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