TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – A Texarkana family is carrying on their tradition of collecting winter coats for disadvantaged children, and this year, their campaign is starting a little earlier.
Organizers want to deliver the coats to elementary children in Texarkana-area schools in early December, so they can wear them longer during the cooler months. In past years, the coats have been delivered just before the winter break.
The Benjamin Dennis Memorial Coat Drive benefited 103 kids last year. This year, the Dennis family wants to help even more children. Benjamin Dennis headed a local chapter of the NAACP for 20 years. Estiza Dennis is his widow.
“We were from very large families of ten each, and when the hand me downs got down to us, it was less than hand me downs,” Estiza Dennis said, laughing. “So, what we’re trying to do is introduce some happiness to those children.”
Estiza Dennis has already delivered several donation boxes to Texarkana-area businesses to encourage coat donations. On Wednesday, she and her daughter, Monica, delivered donation boxes to Wholesale Electric Supply. “This is happening in our community, it’s our children here in Texarkana and that makes Texkarkana a better place when our children are happy and warm,” said Director of Marketing Blaire Barlow.
New coats between kids’ sizes 4 and 16 are needed. If you would like to donate, you can drop off your donation at any participating location, like Wholesale Electric Supply or arrange for pickup. Fore more information or to arrange for pickup, call Monica Dennis Griffin at (903) 908-0107, or Estiza Dennis at (903) 334-8166 or (903) 280-5788.