EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero took the initiative when a local school needed help gathering coats for needy students.
Now, it’s a passion that led to an official charity to help even more kids across the Valley.
“How do you not, when you know if you don’t, people are not going to have a coat?” asked Megan Wagner-Buckley.
Wagner-Buckley started Share Coats four years ago after seeing a need in a local school and stepping up.
“The East Palestine Middle School director just sent a Facebook post saying, ‘Hey, I need some coats. Does anybody have any?’ How do you not do that if you have the means to do it?” Wagner-Buckley said.
Now, Share Coats is an official charity working on getting its official 501(c)3 status.
People in the community have answered Wagner-Buckley’s call to action.
“I’m currently sitting on 187 coats. People have extra coats to give, they just need the means and the vehicle to do it and that’s all we are,” she said.
Wagner-Buckley knows that coats are more than just something to wear to look good.
“When we talk about a lack of coats, we’re not just talking about people are going to be cold, we are talking about kids that don’t have adequate heating in their home and they need something to provide safety and security for their health,” she said.
Because of COVID-19, Share Coats has done most of its work in private giveaways, but Wagner-Buckley hopes to help Valley schools more directly soon.
“If the schools are going to be in session, then we’ll hopefully work more closely with them. If the schools are not going to be in session, then we’re going to push for more public giveaway events,” she said.
Wagner-Buckley gives all the credit for her charity’s success to those in the community who have donated their time, money or coats.
“I can’t give enough credit to the people of the community and their willingness to give coats,” she said.