By: Sabrina Ahmed
As we felt this weekend, the cool weather is finally here. And the need to keep people warm during these chilly days and nights is growing.
The Jones family is asking people to rummage through their closets, dig up those old coats that were cool back in the day, and give them to the needy.
When this Louisiana family moved to Nebraska to open their restaurant, they were shocked when winter rolled in and they didn't have any coats. They bought winter coats and bared the brunt of the cold weather—but owner Justin Jones says that got him thinking.
"Being able to relate from an outsider just moving to this state and the city, we felt that we could do something," Jones said.
So they started Raising Coats. a coat drive at their Raising Canes restaurant in Lincoln.
In the last six years, they've collected more than 6,000 coats for the needy. One woman says she feels truly blessed.
"People just don't have the money to get coats for their families and stuff and they're doing the best they can do and it's good to know that there's people out here that care enough to donate and give us warmth," Yeretter Thomas said.
Jones said he understands the choices some people have to make, and he and his family say they're trying to help lessen the burden.
"Am I going to walk to work? Do I actually need a coat? Or is the money I would spend for that coat, is it more important to put food on the table?" Jones said he asked himself.
The restaurant raises enough coats to fill a 16 ft box truck from back to front, top to bottom. All of them going to the People's City Mission.
Their goal is to eventually collect enough coats to fill a semi truck and be able to give to other organizations around the state.
To donate, you can drop off a new or gently used coat to Raising Canes at 48th and "R".. or round up your check at the counter.
If you donate a coat, you get a buy one, get one meal deal at the restaurant.
The coat drives ends at the beginning of November.