- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) - Five-year-old Brayden Jenkins realized that homeless people need help staying warm during the winter, so he started a coat drive at Roc’s Barber Shop in DeKalb.

“I don’t want them to get sick when they get cold,” Brayden said.

Kendra Jenkins, Brayden’s mother, said her son came up with the idea of giving coats to people who don’t have them while they were sitting in the car on a cold day.

“When we go to the city, he sees homeless people on the sides of the roads, and he always wants to bring money from his piggy bank to give them,” she said. “He thinks about if they’re cold or sick and what they need.”

Jenkins told her son that people can start coat drives to collect coats for people in need, and Brayden said that was what he wanted to do.

Brayden’s family lives in Marengo but frequents Roc’s Barber Shop in DeKalb.

Jenkins suggested starting the coat drive there, so Brayden asked shop owner Jonathan Thompson while getting his hair cut.

Thompson said Brayden has been coming into his shop for the past two years, and he was happy to team up when he heard the idea.

Thompson said the shop will be collecting coats throughout the winter, and he intends to bring them to Hope Haven of DeKalb County.

The two collection boxes Brayden’s family brought in already are filled with coats after about a month of hosting the drive.

Brayden also left a picture of himself with a typed letter explaining why donating coats is important to let customers know about the drive.

Brayden said that for fun, he likes to play with his dog, Bear, that he got for Christmas, and he wants to become a veterinarian when he grows up.

“I love helping animals out,” he said.

Jenkins said Brayden’s family members and teachers have contributed to the coat drive as well, and they weren’t surprised that he came up with the idea because “he always wants to help everyone.”

“His teachers have always said he’s the one in the class helping the kids, and trying to help kids put on their coats and zip them up in the winter,” she said.


Source: The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle, https://bit.ly/2hNl49S


Information from: The Daily Chronicle, https://www.daily-chronicle.com

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