Not Your Typical Christmas List
Warm coats and warm hearts
Last year, nine year old Harrison Pleer lost his coat at school. Fortunately, a quick trip to the school’s lost and found reunited Harrison with his coat. It dawned on him, homeless people don’t have a lost and found to go for a coat. They might not have a coat at all. Even at Christmas.
So the young boy from Palmdale, CA ran a successful coat drive campaign last year. The now 10 year old Harrison is once again collecting coats for a local homeless shelter in time for the holidays.
How it all started
Harrison, now a fifth grader at Gregg Anderson Academy, asked his mom Melissa to help get the word out by posting a request for coat donations on Facebook.
When Melissa told her boss, State Farm Agent Todd Main, about Harrison’s quest, Todd offered his office as a drop-off point for the donations. He also posted information about the coat drive on his Facebook business page. That first year, Harrison collected 254 coats.
This past summer, Harrison found out the Grace Resources Center, the organization he collects the coats for, was having to cut back on services for the homeless due to limited funding. So Harrison asked his mom “What is a gala?”
“I explained to him it was sort of a fancy party you host to fundraise for a charity,” said Melissa.
Harrison and Melissa planned a fundraising Gala to raise funds and collect coats. Family, friends and the community helped support the duo as they organized the dinner which included live entertainment, an auction and dancing.
He called the gala “Tap into Your Heart and Do Good.” The event was held in October at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds and raised more than $8,000 for the center. The funds are being used to help serve hot meals to those in need.
And Harrison is at it again. He is collecting coats for the homeless and Agent Main’s offices in Lancaster and Palmdale are once again drop-off points. As of Dec. 1, 76 coats have been collected!
“Harrison is a great example of what being a good neighbor is all about,” said Todd. “This young man turns caring into doing.”
Follow Harrison’s example. Give back to your community. Check out NeighborhoodofGood.com to find volunteer opportunities near you.