Leader Blues

Friday, November 20, 2009

TOP STORY>> Cabot woman collects coats for needy

Tracy O’Bryan of Cabot, here with her daughters, Erin (left), Katie and Shannon, encourages donations of coats and other items to help keep the homeless warm this winter. Items can be dropped off at many locations in Cabot. 


By ALIYA FELDMAN

Leader editor


A Cabot woman is working to make sure children and adults who need coats this winter will get them.


Tracy O’Bryan plans to donate to the Union Rescue Mission coats and other items that will help keep the homeless warm. 


“This is my first time to truly organize a coat drive in Cabot,” O’Bryan said. “My motivation is the thought of anyone going without a warm coat, or a pair of gloves or mittens on a winter day.”


O’Bryan saw a feature on TV about Union Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter in Little Rock.


“I thought to myself, ‘Wow, people in Cabot would love to get involved in something like that I bet,’” she said. 


“Cabot is known for great people who are giving…and are always anxious to lend a helping hand to their neighbors.”


 Her religion also inspired her to help with the coat drive. 


“I am a Christian and believe that God teaches us to reach out to the needy and help in any way that we can,” she said. 


She also believes that young people may not be getting a message about the importance of caring for people who need help. 


“Another true motivation for me is (my) three daughters, (who are) 16, 13 and 11,” she said. “I see more and more in their generation (with) the lack of empathy and sincere caring for people who are less fortunate than they are.”


 “Operation Rescue” is the name of the coat drive run by Union Rescue Mission that O’Bryan is helping.


Rescue mission workers give coats, blankets, hot soup and coffee to homeless people on the streets who refuse to go to their shelter. 


“Wintertime is especially dangerous for folks to go without coats, gloves, hats or blankets to stay warm,” O’Bryan said. 


“I would like to see our community pull together and try to help make a difference of even a small kind for these folks.”


The drive will run through the second week of February. In addition to donations of coats in good, clean condition, the drive will take gloves, mittens, scarves, hats and blankets.


O’Bryan will soon be contacting schools and possibly some churches to be drop-off locations. In the meantime, donations can be dropped off at both Sandy’s Cleaners locations, Pine Street Animal Clinic, Cabot Handy Hardware, CJ’s Deli, Kroger, Budget Self Storage and Bo Bevis’ Insurance. 


O’Bryan can also be contacted at 501-744-8516 to arrange for pick up of coats and other items.