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Inspirational 11-year-old collects coats for people experiencing homelessness

4 min read

Good Stuff
Inspirational 11-year-old collects coats for people experiencing homelessness
Source: Facebook/Sandro's Coat Rack

New Jersey 5th grader Sandro Cunningham has been helping the homeless for years, and amid the pandemic he says they need help more than ever.

Fifth Grader’s Winter Coat Drive Continues Despite Pandemic

Despite the pandemic, 11-year-old Sandro is pressing on collecting coats for the homeless. He’s done it for years, but this year has had its challenges. His parents thought that perhaps this year he’d take a break, but the opposite has happened. Sandro says the homeless need help now more than ever.

Sandro Cunningham started Sandro’s Coat Rack for the homeless and needy about four years ago. Source: None

Sandro has a passion for helping he discovered at an early age

When Sandro Cunningham was just 6 years old he began collecting coats for people on need. 

“I felt that I could give back to the homeless because I saw on the news that they didn’t have coats, so I decided to give back.”

With help from his family, Sandro started a Facebook page called ‘Sandro’s Coat Rack’. The rack is placed outside the Trenton area soup kitchen. People can leave a coat or if they need, take a coat.

Sandro has also handed out other essentials over the years — a passion for helping he discovered at an early age. This year, with the pandemic, his father asked him if he wanted to take a break. But he wanted to keep going. He said speaking to NBC4 New York, he said, “They need it more than ever, so we just keep pushing forward.”

This season, they helped deliver hundreds of coats, hats, gloves and face masks. Even pies to bring some holiday cheer.

Sandro and his family discovered that not only are there more people in need, there are more people willing to help.

“People are feeling it in their hearts. When they look around, and there’s a lot more need going on and people are feeling it at home.”said his dad, Ed.

Sandro said, “I’m proud of it, and I’m thankful for everyone giving me the chance to give coats to the homeless.

Source: NBC4NewYork

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, Sandro and his helpers - mom Lisa, dad Ed and little brother Crescenzo, 7 - delivered 110 coats, 98 hats, 16 neck warmers, 12 pairs of gloves, 10 scarves, three pairs of snow pants and 250 face masks from the Mercer Mask Project.
Thanksgiving cheer! On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, Sandro and his helpers – mom Lisa, dad Ed and little brother Crescenzo, 7 – delivered 110 coats, 98 hats, 16 neck warmers, 12 pairs of gloves, 10 scarves, three pairs of snow pants and 250 face masks from the Mercer Mask Project. Source: Facebook/Sandro’s Coat Rack

Sandro is a veteran social servant

Sandro Cunningham started Sandro’s Coat Rack for the homeless and needy about four years ago, has been on Rachael Ray’s television show to tout it, and last year his efforts led the company Burlington (formerly Burlington Coat Factory) to donate $5,000 to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), where the coat rack resides.

But he is still a schoolboy, an 11-year-old fifth grader. So his mother Lisa Cunningham told him it’d be alright if he wanted to take a break this winter, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m not a quitter mom,” Sandro replied. The coat rack and all the extras it generates will go on, Sandro said.

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, Sandro and his helpers – mom Lisa, dad Ed and little brother Crescenzo, 7 – delivered 110 coats, 98 hats, 16 neck warmers, 12 pairs of gloves, 10 scarves, three pairs of snow pants and 250 face masks from the Mercer Mask Project.

The donations came from the Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton and Be Kind. Sandro partners with area organisations for coat drives, and what cannot fit on the actual rack gets delivered to TASK, where staffers pair the clothing with visitors.

Also, Sandro delivered 65 pies to TASK for their Thanksgiving meal. He bought them from A&M Farm Market in Robbinsville with money raised from a program he created in which donations of $15 were matched dollar for dollar.

Sandro got the idea to start a coat rack after watching a television program on the homeless. His father, a Trenton police detective, helped him with the location – the TASK parking lot abuts the police parking lot.

Anyone wishing to donate to Sandro’s Coat Rack can reach him through their Facebook page.

Source: nj.com

Sandro Cunningham, 11, right, gets help delivering pies from his brother Crescenzo, 7, at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen on Nov. 25, 2020, the day before Thanksgiving.
A delivery of pies would cheer anyone up. Sandro Cunningham, 11, right, gets help delivering pies from his brother Crescenzo, 7, at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen on Nov. 25, 2020, the day before Thanksgiving. Source: Facebook/Sandro’s Coat Rack
He bought them from A&M Farm Market in Robbinsville with money raised from a program he created in which donations of $15 were matched dollar for dollar.
Sandro delivered 65 pies to TASK for their Thanksgiving meal. He bought them from A&M Farm Market in Robbinsville with money raised from a program he created in which donations of $15 were matched dollar for dollar. Source: Facebook/Sandro’s Coat Rack
Sandro’s selfless actions have not gone unnoticed Sandro recieves recognition for his community spirit. Two years ago Sandro was recognised by local authorities. Source: Source: Facebook/RobertMeyer
Make an Impact

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...