They came from more than a dozen different stores and from two to three states away, but in 154 neatly wrapped boxes, there are coats for each of the children at the Head Start Center at Brookhaven College.
On a cool day in October, the children walked through the campus to trick-or-treat at the college offices. It seemed that not every child in the Halloween Parade had a warm coat, so Terri Edrich, director of human resources, and Nita Drescher, developmental reading professor, decided to do something about it.
With just a $3 donation from each Brookhaven College employee, there would be enough money to buy a new heavy winter coat for each of the children at the center. Nita took a lead role in raising the funds and Terri started working to find a retailer who could make a good deal and meet a tight deadline.
Thanks to the generosity of college employees, raising the funds needed to purchase the coats was fairly simple to accomplish. However, finding a retailer was more of a problem, as the first company Terri worked with notified her that with just a week to go, they would not be able to have the coats ready by deadline. So, Terri did the only thing that came to mind; she searched the sales fliers and headed to the mall.
While searching, Terri was explaining to a busy salesclerk her goal of finding a retailer who could help locate more than 150 coats when Tom Hall, district line buyer for children’s clothing at Macy’s, walked by.
Tom lives just a few miles away from the college and became heavily involved – even giving out his cell phone number – in coordinating the right numbers and sizes of coats for the children. He has been texting the numbers of coats as they were found in the stock of stores; the coats have been shipped from locations throughout the Metroplex and as far away as Arizona. He also was able to offer the coats for a great price.In fact, the cost of the coats was a whopping $13,265, but through Macy's, we were able to pay only $2,998, the amount raised in donations, according to Terri.
Now, thanks to the generosity of many and the hard work of a few, on Dec. 15, each child at the Head Start Center will receive a brand-new winter coat and be prepared for the chilly winter ahead.