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Outpouring donations of coats helps dozens of schoolchildren keep warm

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Payton hopes that spirit of giving does not stop here. Payton hopes that spirit of giving does not stop here.
Thanks to the generosity of the Mid-South hundreds of local children will not have to go to school cold. Thanks to the generosity of the Mid-South hundreds of local children will not have to go to school cold.
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(WMC-TV) - Thanks to the generosity of the Mid-South hundreds of local children will not have to go to school cold.

It all started because of a blog post about school cancellations during cold weather. Within a few hours the idea about gather coats spread on social media, and Action News partnered up with YMCA of Greater Memphis and its Common Ground program. The drive started Wednesday.

Common Ground's member Paula Payton is the volunteer coordinator for this extravaganza. She helped sort hundreds of coats donated to the Action News 5 Winter Coat Drive.

"It's been crazy, and wonderful, and busy, and beautiful. And so many different words," said Payton.

The words included joyful.

"It feels good, I like the color red," said fourth grader Ashley Landcaster.

Action News 5 took a dozen coats to South Park Elementary; six of those students shared their joy with us.

The students' reaction received even more attention Friday as people brought in more coats.

"We had a parent come in who said she was dropping off her seventh grader and said she saw several students walking in without coats, and it tore at her heart," said Payton.

Stories continued as retired teachers, businesses, and churches showed up to support the cause.

Payton hopes that spirit of giving does not stop here.

"It's simple physics, the more people there are to carry a load, the lighter the weight each person has to lift," she said.

Whether it is a coat, a few dollars or your time – giving back to your community will only make it a better place.

More than 480 coats and $4,000 in donations were collected this week during the Action News 5 Winter Coat Drive.

To learn more about donating online, click here.

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