Local emergency responders start coat drive

JACKSON, Tenn. — Through their Beyond the Badge organization, the Madison County Fire Department has already done a toy drive to give back to children in need during the holidays. Now they’re considering a new type of drive, this time involving coats.

“When we were doing the toy drive, we found that children needed other things also other than toys,” Madison County Fire Department Administrator Kim Turner said. “Everyone loves toys, but they were asking for necessities like coats and underwear and socks.”

The Madison County Fire Department will be helping less fortunate students in Jackson-Madison County Schools.

“They gave us a list of the children that actually need coats,” Turner said.

“I got a referral to one school where there were 44 students in need of coats,” said Rhonda Heard, community engagement coordinator for Jackson-Madison County Schools. “So we’ve been getting a few coats in, but we do need more gently used and new coats for our students.”

Anyone making donations is asked to call the fire department and they’ll be assigned a specific size.

“We have actual coat sizes that we’re in need for, and we’re working really hard trying to get those needs met this week so that we can give them to the children before they’re out for two weeks,” Turner said.

For those who are interested in giving back, donations can be dropped off by the fire department location by McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport or at several designated drop-off locations across the city.

“Forever communications is also working with us at 122 Radio Road, or you can drop them off at Central Office on (North) Parkway,” Turner said.

So whether it’s fighting fires or poverty, they’ll always be there to help.

“We’re an organization that goes out on the scene, and we find where the help is needed,” Turner said.

The fire department is asking that donations be dropped off by Friday. Also this Friday, the department will keep giving back by taking some of the older students shopping at Walmart for basic necessities they asked for, such as socks and underwear.

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