COLUMBUS, OH -- One of our promises is introducing you to everyday heroes who are making a real impact in their communities whether it be big or small. This hero from Central Ohio, has the holiday spirit wrapped up in a brand new coat.
"Yes, I'm a grandmother, but let me do something! All these little children that are in need of help and assistance and there's something that we can do." Beverly Robinson says with a big smile and vigor.
And that's exactly what this grandmother did when she founded Coats 4 Children 12 years ago, a non profit that provides winter coats to kids in need. A venture that began with 250 coats a year has now expanded to over 14 hundred coats throughout 13 school districts and 78 community partnerships. Something this lifelong Columbus resident says is not just a gift but a duty to the community and children she loves.
"In Ohio we embrace the diversity of every child's face, we embrace their faith, their background, their economic status, there's no zip code that will withhold us from going to a child in need that needs to be warm."
And Robinson's warmth has quickly caught on...
"She has the kind of heartbeat for the children that is unmatchable. You can tell there's a lot of passion there...and it kinda spills over, it's kinda contagious." says Coats 4 Children Community Relations Director, Kevin Robinson.
Board of Directors Member, Steve Biffle agrees saying "If she had the resources, she would like to be able to take care of every child in the state of Ohio that doesn't have a coat and her passion is to be able to do that, how can I do this?"
Kevin Robinson adds that her empathy with children and having the ability to walk in their footsteps is what really sets her apart, crediting her work with children over the years as a Sunday school teacher and youth mentor. Experience that helped Robinson create a service that not only provides children the protection they need from the cold winter elements, but the protection they need emotionally.
"Coats 4 Children provides an inventory of coats for them and they are able to come up to the school...the parent or guardian....and get that coat for that child and the child goes home and comes backs the next day looking like everyone else and no one else knows the difference. it's so important that we maintain the dignity for every family, because love can be found in the higher income levels as well as those income levels that are challenged." says Robinson.
A love that has now grown year after year from homes to classrooms, making a difference in the lives of the children, teachers and parents alike.
Steve Biffle tells us there have been "mothers and parents that were brought to tears to finally be able to have a brand new coat, never worn before not used but brand new that their child could wear, and they've never had it before in their lives."
A brand new coat that this everyday hero hopes will carry more than it's normal weight this holiday season saying "If we engage that way and just love with openness and compassion and not what color their skin tone is or where their zip code lies but just look at the child and just think of the possibilities of that little child and what they can become....and all they're asking from us is a coat. We can do the simplest things by providing them a coat."
Coats 4 Children relies primarily on corporate grants to pay for the coats.