An organization of black Charlotte police officers did a good deed this winter by donating hundreds of winter coats to children in need.
The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (or N.O.B.L.E.) donated 400 coats to the WSOC-TV Coats for Kids drive around the New Year Holiday.
The drive collected a total of 250,000 coats, which were sent to the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store to be distributed to the poor.
The police organization said the best way to help communities is to give back.
“The way to help communities flourish is to give back. If you plant seeds in those communities, into the youth, and they get to see and identify who’s there for them during their time of growth and as they mature it all pays off,” Torri Tellis, vice president of the Charlotte chapter of N.O.B.L.E. and a captain at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department told WSOC-TV.
Tellis explained the purpose of N.O.B.L.E.
“N.O.B.L.E is compiled of law enforcement and civilians across the country organization which gives us opportunity outside of law enforcement and within communities to reach out, assist in other ways and support different communities,” he said.
During the cold winter months, families are often hard-pressed to pay for housing, food, and utilities, so a coat may not be in the budget.
This drive was a perfect way to make sure kids can stay warm this winter during the COVID pandemic.
“Families are paying bills to keep the lights on. In this time where we’re dealing with COVID and there’s a lot of, a lot of pulls financially,” Tellis said. “This was a great opportunity for us to reach out and go ahead and take one thing off of that to-do list.”
The Crisis Assistance Ministry, an independent nonprofit group, is responsible for collecting and distributing the coats. The group mostly focuses on alleviating homelessness and providing basic services, such as food, clothing, rent and utilities to the poor. Hundreds of collection points for the coats were spread out throughout the area.
“It’s a great feeling to know that you’re doing the right thing,” Tellis said. “Everybody in our organization is seeing that same vision and that is the reward for us.”