The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
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Hockaday Coat Drive Impacts Dallas Community

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Photo Credit: Noor Adatia/The Fourcast

The annual coat drive ended last week and the coats collected will circulate through the DISD school district and help families at shelters in the community.

Coats of all sizes, shapes and colors overflew the cardboard boxes in the School’s hallways as students, for the past two weeks, contributed their donations to the coat drive which ended this past Friday.

The Hockaday Community Service Board has been organizing a coat drive the past 10 years and the goal has always been the same: to help the children and adults of the Dallas community stay warm throughout the winter.

The approximate number of coats collected this year was 450, compared to 400 last year.

In addition to Upper School, Middle and Lower School also contributed new or gently used coats, socks and other winter accessories to be donated to the Dallas Independent School District schools and shelters across Dallas. Laura Day, Director of Service Learning at Hockaday, said that the coats will make a huge impact on the DISD students and families living in shelters.

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“I visit these organizations all the time and ask them what they really need, and they always mention coats and socks so I think it’s really cool that we can provide a basic necessity for the community,” Day said.

The basic necessity of winter clothing is really important for Dallas area students, according to Valerie Smith, the counselor of DISD school Tom C. Gooch Elementary.

“The daily lives of scholars are happier and more pleasant when they have nice, warm clothing. They are, therefore, better able to focus and learn because they are comfortable and feel good about their clothing,” Smith said.

Senior Allie Charlton, chair of the Hockaday Community Service Board and tutor at DISD schools, echoed Smith’s thoughts by saying that the coats can help the students in various ways.

“[The coat] not only keeps them warm, but it further prevents them from getting sick and therefore missing valuable school lessons,” she said. “It also allows them to play outside with their friends.”

According to Day, the majority of the children’s coats received will be donated to the DISD elementary and middle schools that are involved in Hockaday’s tutoring program.  When the coats go to these schools, they can not only provide the student with a warm coat for winter but also allow them to go outside and play during recess.

Charlton has seen the impact of the drive and remembers a Sudie Williams Elementary student she was tutoring two years ago.

“I’m not sure if it came from the Hockaday coat drive or another drive, but I do know the coat made her smile the biggest smile I had ever seen and allowed her to run around every day with her friends,” Charlton said. “No matter where these coats end up, each finds a home with a child or adult who is in desperate need.”

With the children’s coats going to schools, Day has organized for the male coats to go to Austin Street Shelter in South Dallas and for the women’s coats to go to a women’s shelter.

While the coats have several benefits for the Dallas community, the act of giving back has a positive impact on the Hockaday community by spreading awareness about people who cannot afford basic necessities, like warm winter clothing.

“The coat drive is an amazing way for every Hockaday student to share our resources with children who don’t have the same circumstances,” Charlton said.

Although the drive ended last week, Charlton and Day both said that the two-week coat drive is not the only time to spread basic necessities around the community.

“Just because the drive ends, the need does not! I encourage people to donate clothes and coats all year round,” Charlton said. 

For more on items commonly requested by DISD schools, click on the link to DISD’s donation page.

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