South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Coat drive keeps Hilltop kids warm as colder winter weather approaches


Dr. Jamil Bey delivers some of the almost 400 coats, gloves, scarves and hats Pgh Works collected in a three-week campaign. The winter gear was slated to be distributed to students in Hilltop schools in Allentown and Arlington.

As cold winter weather approached Dr. Jamil Bey from Pgh Works met with Birmingham Foundation executive director Mark Bibro along with Janae Dandridge and Jennifer Tyler, counselors at Pittsburgh Grandview and Pittsburgh Arlington schools, he noted a need that wasn't being filled.

Learning many of the children at the schools wouldn't have warm winter coats Dr. Bey was prompted to see what he could do to help. Unfortunately, when he called around to local organizations, he learned coats from their drives were already committed.

Undeterred, Dr. Bey reached out to people on the Hilltop and beyond to donate coats for the kids. He utilized social media to get the word out about drop-off spots and started a GoFundMe campaign.

He was overwhelmed with the results.

Within three weeks from discussion to completion, enough new coats had been donated to provide warm winter wear for almost 400 kids.

Dr. Bey said generous donations of winter coats came from Macy's and the Pittsburgh Firefighters Union. School coat drives also provided more winter warmth.

In addition, the GoFundMe campaign raised $2,000 in seven days. Although most of the donations came from people living on the Hilltop or having a connection to the Hilltop, contributions came from as far away as India.

The coat campaign was so successful, that in addition to providing new coats for the kids at the two schools Dr. Bey was able to purchase new gloves, hats and scarves to go along with the winter wraps.

The winter gear was set to be distributed at both schools on Monday, Dec. 21.


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