Warm coats, warm hearts in Nashville

Donated coats to be given out at the ‘Warm Hearts, Warm Coats’ program.   photo: Deborah A. Culp

Donated coats to be given out. photo: Deborah A. Culp

Thanksgiving came early for lots of needy and deserving people this year in Music City, U.S.A. all because of the Nashville-based Granny White Church of Christ ‘Warm Hearts Warm Coats’ program. In addition to offering the coats to help individuals and families during the harsh winter months, food boxes were also given.

Sometimes we take the basic things for granted, such as the countless people who may not be able to afford simple things like coats to wear when it’s cold outside. Deciding between buying coats and feeding the family is an avenue that no one ever wants to find themselves on.

This year the giveaway took place on November 14, and the doors opened earlier than the originally planned 9 am. The drive operated on a first come, first served basis—but there were still plenty of quality coats available well into the day. An added bonus was the Bible table with plenty of books to spare at the end of the program.

Everyone who attended the event was given a paper ticket number, and the ticket numbers were called back to the display room in order. Participants were asked to select two coats per person for each family represented—one heavy coat and one light weight coat.

The church event operated on the honor system and the process flowed quite well. Some of the extra help came from volunteers from nearby Lipscomb University, ranging from tenured professors to cheerful students. These extra pair of hands helped the ministry run effectively, contributing to the efficient schedule and keeping all attendees’ spirits high.

The church ministry staff goes the extra mile to make everyone feel welcome and even took time to stop and chat personally with the people waiting in the sanctuary to be called. The jury is still out on what’s warmer: their hearts or the beautiful array of coats and extra treats displayed. The items were not meant to be a fashion statement, but the vast selection of coats in an array of sizes and colors were more than a holiday a blessing. Once the holidays are over, the ‘Warm Hearts, Warm Coats’ process kicks off for 2016.

For more information or to get involved for next year’s ‘Warm Hearts, Warm Coats’ drive, check the church information at www.grannywhitechurch.org