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Coat drive collecting for city children

November is in just a few days, and it’s getting cold at night. Already the forecasters are warning of the fall’s first frost.

Brookhaven native Candace Turner wants to make sure all the city’s elementary students are nice and warm on the coming cool mornings, so she’s kicked off Coats for a Cause, a coat drive that aims to collect coats and jackets for underprivileged students at Brookhaven Elementary School, Lipsey School and Mamie Martin Elementary School.

“I used to work as a teacher’s assistant in the Brookhaven School District, and I just noticed a lot of kids didn’t have winter coats,” Turner said. “There were three or four students, and that was just in my classroom. I want to give all the children warm winters.”

Turner said Coats for a Cause is seeking mainly small, medium and large coats, new or used. Anyone interested in supporting the coat drive may drop off coats at 111 North Street Drive — a family member’s home — or call Turner at 769-244-0101 for information on monetary donations or buying for specific children.

She has reached out to the three schools and asked teachers to submit a confidential list of children and their sizes, and is asking local churches to spread the word as well.

Coats will be accepted through Nov. 17. Turner said once all the coats are collected, she will call specific parents on the school-furnished list and begin giving them away. Once the requests are filled, Coats for a Cause will open to the public and any excess coats will be donated as requested.

“The more coats, the better,” Turner said. “There will be some more kids we identify, and there will be some children we don’t identify. I’m hoping we can get 50 to 100 coats, but any more would be great.”

Turner, who now works for Mississippi Behavioral Health Services and lives in the Jackson area, still operates Candace Charmain Makeup Artistry in Brookhaven.

“I was born and raised in Brookhaven, and this is just my way of trying to give back to my community,” she said.