Through the worst of the polar vortex this 9-year-old from New Jersey has been doing his part to make sure his community stays warm.
Sandro’s Coat Rack: making sure everybody stays warm
In the depths of the polar vortex weather front, a 9-year-old from New Jersey is doing his part to ensure the most vulnerable stay warm. With the help of his family, Sandro Cunningham started Sandro’s Coat Rack — and he’s been collecting and donating coats for the last two years.
Sandro was inspired while watching a local news broadcast on donating to homeless people
Sandro Cunningham, 9, collects used coats through his Facebook page and drop-boxes at his school and a local dance centre. He then sets up and stocks his coat rack, which he built with his Dad, Edward.
They used to keep the coat rack outside of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, but it’s now located across from the Trenton Police Station where Edward is an officer. Anyone walking by the rack can take or leave coats as they need.
Two years ago, then-7-year-old Sandro was inspired to start Sandro’s Coat Rack while watching a local news broadcast on donating to homeless people with his Mom, Lisa.
The boy immediately wanted to do something to help his own community, and his parents helped him get started.
"This is his thing and we’re just along for the ride," Edward Cunningham told CBS News. "We’re just trying to guide him in the right direction."
He estimates they have collected close to 1,000 coats so far. Whenever the rack is running low, they drive around the community to collect more.
“He just wants to keep people warm," the proud dad said. "He’s just an outgoing kid who wants to help."
Sandro’s donations don’t stop when winter does. In the warmer months, Sandro and his brother, Crescenzo, create care packages with personal hygiene items. "We didn’t realize how much joy this small deed would bring us. We are extremely proud of him," Lisa Cunningham told NJ.com.
“I want other people to know it’s important (to give back) because we should all be treated equal,” Cunningham said.
5 WAYS TO HELP THE HOMELESS
There are lots of other ways to help homeless people. Donating food and clothing to homeless shelters is a great way to help. You could also volunteer your time with such an organisation. Educate yourself and others about homelessness, and share facts about homelessness with others. Use letters to your local newspaper, blog posts, and social media to spread the word about how homelessness is a problem and what others can do to help. Here’s how...