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MidSouth Chapter

Spreading Warmth in the Community

by Courtney Batey Coats

Growing up as a child I heard the old adage, “If you see a need then sow a seed.”

Giving is an important characteristic whether you’re giving a monetary donation, volunteering your time, or simple gestures and random acts of kindness. Helping others has a cascading effect that positively impacts those in need and allows the giver to be a conduit of blessings to others. One of our GAPNA Board members identified a need in her community and devised a plan to sow a seed.

The winter months can be grueling for low-income families in the Midsouth area. These families may be unable to afford proper winter attire which can negatively impact a child’s performance and self-esteem.

GAPNA member Sharita Cole, NP, of Olive Branch, MS, was driving on her route to work in late fall 2018 and recognized there were several school-age children without coats, hats, and gloves. Sharita took immediate action and organized a coat drive to fill this need in her community. She accepted donations of new and gently used coats, monetary donations, and received support from other local GAPNA MidSouth members.

Due to Sharita’ s hard work, diligence, and partnering with supporters, she collected and purchased over 75 winter coats and accessories and distributed them to multiple schools and churches in the MidSouth area.

These schools and churches identified children in need of a warm coat. One school administrator stated, “We were able to help random children without coats and are extremely grateful.” One coat can change the trajectory of one’s life and Sharita loves being able to provide warmth to those in need.

Although the focus on this community project was not geared to the geriatric population specifically, at least over 75 young people felt the love and concern that a grandparent would show.

Courtney Batey Coats, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, RHIA
courtney.batey@optum.com


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