By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Brothers Tom and Jack Jones warm many hearts each Christmas by giving bikes and food baskets to the area’s needy children and families. But this year they’ll be warming more than hearts with their “Coats for Kids” giveaway.
With assistance from Santa Claus, Tom will be distributing donated coats Saturday, Dec. 21, in the parking lot near Hardees in Pulaski Mall. Distribution begins around 9 a.m. and continues as long as the supply (50-100 coats) lasts – normally around two hours.
Those who have coats to donate also are encouraged to drop them off so they can go to someone in need. While the giveaway is geared toward children, Jones indicated there might be some adult coats available, too.
The donated garments were collected with assistance from WBLB radio in Pulaski, Trinity Baptist Church in Robinson Tract community and many others. Any left over coats will be donated to Salvation Army or Taking It To The Streets ministry in Pulaski.
It’s not easy for Jones to talk about the need he and his family see in the community. He chokes back tears while sharing the story of his wife, a school cafeteria manager, buying new shoes for a child whose tennis shoes were so worn out they were literally flopping on his feet.
“We do this because it’s in our hearts to do it,” he said. This is the sixth year the Joneses have organized a giveaway. The first four years, they provided bikes for children and last year they gave away food baskets for families.
Each year the bikes and baskets were gone within two to three hours, so those hoping to get a coat this year should arrive early.
“You can tell they’re people in need,” Jones said, referring to the people who have been helped in the past.