AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Eveline Rivers-McCoy has been providing coats for children in need for more than 40 years.
“I had a friend that was the principal of Glenwood Elementary school, and she told me of a family that first needed Christmas. Then there were coats, and then she told me of eight children who weren’t coming to school. I thought maybe chickenpox, but it was because they didn’t have a coat, and it was too cold for them to walk to school, so they just stayed home," said Eveline Rivers-McCoy, owner of Eveline Rivers Christmas Project.
But her coat closet is currently struggling to provide for some ages.
“We live in a wonderful and very blessed community of helping hands, and we are very blessed because of that. But sometimes we all get off on our directions, of our thoughts go a different direction, and right now I need to focus them back on we need a few coats, we need some gloves because our children are out there and they depend on us,” said Rivers-McCoy.
Rivers-McCoy says the weather impacts the number of donations she receives.
"The weather makes people understand the need. And so years ago we had more snow and ice we’ve had in the last few years. It doesn’t matter; we still have cold winds. Children still have to walk to school. They still have to wait on a bus. Sometimes they’re in an unheated house. Sometimes they sleep in an unheated car,” said Rivers-McCoy.
The coat room is running low on coats for babies and toddlers, with no jackets at all for baby boys.
"We want every child to leave with a smile on their face, a coat on their back, and hats so that their head will be warm and gloves. All of that we work very hard to do. This space is empty. As you see, these gloves would fit an adult on down to the elementary school size. We have nothing that we can take, the satisfaction that we could take care of the little child. The baby up to the size or age five or six, we’re totally out of those. We get requests every time we’re in here, do you have anything for the little one, and we don’t,” said Rivers-McCoy.
A local high school teacher at River Road heard of this need and sprung into action.
Not only his class, but the entire school district decided to help, bringing in more than 150 coats.
“Even though we have a population of deserving students, if you will seeing them also give back, I think it is imperative. It shows you that no matter what your economic position is in life, you can always give back,” said Shad Tyra, a teacher at River Road High School.
“Not to take things for granted because not everyone has it, so it’s better to give it then keep it for yourself,” said Sara Winn, a student at River Road High School.
Rivers-McCoy says she will never turn away someone who wants to donate a coat they have picked out. You can drop off coats at 314 South Jefferson Amarillo, TX 79101, or visit her website for more information and monetary donation.