In its most successful coat drive to date, Jackson Christian’s student body collected more than 600 coats this fall to donate to Jackson-Madison County Schools.
At the center of the community service project is Jackson Christian freshman Ava Jerman, who was a sixth grader when she started the coat drive in the fall of 2018.
“I noticed several students riding the school bus were not wearing coats, so I asked our Bible teacher to help me start a coat drive,” Jerman said.
In the first year of the coat drive, Jackson Christian middle and high school students gathered 100 to 300 coats, Jerman estimates.
She begins planning the drive in October each year. “I make posters and get the announcements together, and I find boxes to hold the donations,” she said. “I also go and talk to elementary school students. I try to make it fun for them and tell them it’s a competition to see who can get the most coats. Next time, I’ll work on getting a prize for that.”
Donations are collected in November. To keep a handle on the inventory, Jerman stays after school to sort the coats according to size and bag them. This year’s collection was so large that it took two separate drop offs to complete the donation.
“We weren’t able to collect coats last year because of COVID-19, so I think that made more people give this year,” said Jerman, who personally donated 23 coats to the drive. “My parents were really proud of me, and I want to thank everyone who participated.”
Jerman logged 11 hours of community service for this year’s coat drive, and she plans to continue leading the drive for the rest of her high school career.
For her classmates looking to find a community service project, Jerman offers this advice, “Do what your heart is telling you to do.”