Local High School Hosts Coat Drive for Unprivileged Youth

James S. Rickards High School’s athletic department is hosting its first Coat Drive in partnership with PMathis & Associates, LLC.

The purpose is to supply coats to elementary students as the colder months approach.  

Earl Hankerson, the athletic director at Rickards High School, says that Rickards High School and PMathis & Associates’s initiative is community outreach.

“Our first step in this initiative is the coat drive. We’re specifically looking to supply our elementary students with coats,” said Hankerson. “We’re going to partner with Bond Elementary and Oak Ridge Elementary and we’re trying to get as many coats as possible to supply those students so they’re not cold throughout the winter months.”                                          

Precious Mathis, the founder and CEO of PMathis & Associates, recognized the need for coats in the Tallahassee community.

“The coat drive will not only help every community child stay warm, but also ensure every community child does not miss school because they did not have a decent coat to keep warm,” Mathis stated. “The coat drive will also help build community teamwork. We have to remember it takes a village to raise a child.”

According to the United States Census Bureau, 30.2 percent of people in Tallahassee are living in poverty.

Terica Slaughter, a fourth- year engineering student from Jacksonville, Fla., is actively involved in the Tallahassee community. Slaughter, who was made aware of the coat drive, voiced the need of such in the community.

“People would not believe how many students there are who don’t have appropriate clothing for the winter,” said Slaughter. “I think this coat drive is a great idea and I’m glad that they’re accepting donations for all sizes. I’ve mentored many students who are living in poverty and aren’t able to get coats.”

The coat drive will last until November 9 and everyone in Tallahassee is encouraged to donate coats of all sizes to Rickards High School.

“The larger sizes will be distributed to students here at Rickards and our two feeder middle schools, Nims and Fairview,” said Earl Hankerson.

The football team will distribute coats on November 13 while reading to elementary students.