Maybe it’s not Minnesota, but it does get cold in the Valley of the Sun. So a group of Mesa Girl Scouts are trying to keep the homeless and working poor warm with a coat collection drive.
The five fifth- and sixthgraders in Girl Scout Troop 1340 want to collect at least 800 coats for PreHab, St. Vincent de Paul and Child Crisis Nursery, who in turn will give the coats to those who need them.
“There are a lot of people in Arizona who don’t even have a coat, and you might have more than one,” said Scout Skylar Ryan. “Just think, during the winter they have no coat to keep them warm.”
New and used coats in any size, shape or color can be dropped off Monday through March 31 at Hermosa Vista Elementary School, 2626 N. 24th St., Mesa. Although the drive has not officially begun, the girls have already collected 58.
The girls found the One Warm Coat project online with the help of their troop leader April Ryan. They needed a project to earn their Bronze Award, which is the highest award possible for Junior Girl Scouts. Each girl has to put in 25 volunteer hours to get the award.
“This is 100 percent girldriven,” Ryan said. “I don’t deserve any of the credit. It’s just so important for me that the girls learn that they’re capable, build strengths and (they learn) to care for others.”
Personal Touch Alterations will help mend the coats for free. One Hour Martinizing, Magic Touch and Silverado Cleaners have offered free dry cleaning.
Palo Verde Mini Storage will store the coats two months for free before they’re delivered. Papa John’s has agreed to donate pizza to the Hermosa Vista class that collects the most coats.
Larissa Marx, a sixthgrader at Hale Elementary School, is trying to get her Mesa school to be a drop-off location for the coats.
“It’s a major challenge. Our Girl Scout troop really cares about homeless people,” she said.
The other girls working on the project are Taylor Wilson and Selia Frandle and Angelica McGrew.
“If we don’t collect all the coats, we’ll go on Dr. Phil to talk about our problems,” Skylar joked.
Donations: Girl Scout Troop 1340 is collecting new and used coats in any size, shape or color. Donated coats can be dropped off Monday through March 31 at Hermosa Vista Elementary School, 2626 N. 24th St., Mesa. For information, call April Ryan at (480) 503-8904.