The student council Service Outreach committee that I am the chair of was really struggling to make any progress this year due to the frequent changes between our hybrid school schedule and a transition to full remote learning. As I began to plan my fourth annual Seeds of Hope coat drive back in November, I knew it needed to be bigger than ever before. Not only because I somehow had to beat my personal record of 350 coats last year, but because the need has never been as severe as it is right now.
I proposed a partnership to my committee for the Pinkerton Academy Student Council to team up with Seeds of Hope to plan a mega coat drive… they were all over it and I got right to work!
I assigned each member of my committee a business in their hometown to reach out to and request sponsorship as a coat drop off location. We ended up having almost ten different businesses in throughout southern New Hampshire collecting coats for us!!
I am so thankful for the platform I have from my title of Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen. No one needs a title to make a difference, however I have built so many incredible relationships through this organization that some of my MNHOT sponsors were willing and eager to get involved as well. With a greater following on social media, I was able to spread the word quicker than ever, which I believe is just another of the many factors that contributed to this year’s success.
About two days into the coat drive, I was getting calls from multiple businesses saying their donation boxes were already overflowing. After a week, it was time for me to sacrifice my parking spot in the garage so we had a place to store the mountain of coats which seemed to grow in every single day!
A month later, I had 646 winter coats piled from the floor the the ceiling in my garage…
I got my workout in when it was time to fill my dads truck with all these coats so we could bring them to the donation center. It wasn’t easy and contrary to my mom’s bet, I somehow fit them all into one car!
When I got to Anton’s Dry Cleaners to drop off the coats, I was greeted with a business card for a WMUR reporter and was told I had an interview as soon as I finished unloading the coats! It took awhile, but with the help of the amazing employee, Holly, we got all the coats inside after about 15 trips!
I quickly got home and squeezed in my interview with Monica Hernandez from WMUR before heading out to my dance classes for the night. It was an honor to be joined by Mr. Arthur Anton and to be able to share my message of Hope to everyone watching the news.
I am so thankful to everyone who made this all possible. From my Service Outreach committee and the rest of the Pinkerton Academy Student Council who were so helpful in making this so widespread, even despite our tricky remote learning environment, to all the local businesses who donated space in their facility to store coats for us, to all the people who donated, liked, commented, and shared my millions of Facebook posts advertising the coat drive, to Anton’s Cleaners for accepting so many coats, my parents for keeping the mountain of coats in our garage for a month, Holly at Anton’s Cleaners for working so hard for us, Monica Hernandez and the rest of the WMUR team for a special feature, this never would have been possible without the dozens of people who contributed. I hope that this will be a new tradition for Pinkerton Academy, and that the success of this coat drive was proof to all my peers who were watching that anyone can make a difference!
Most importantly… there is still time to donate! Bring all of your gently used coats to any Jordan’s Furniture or Enterprise Bank to help families in need right here in New Hampshire.
Check out the segment on WMUR!