Lisa Karbon heard someone say that when it is cold, no one should have to go without a coat. In April of 2003, this 13-year-old Glendale, California youth took this statement to heart and began her “One Warm Coat” campaign.
Lisa identified charities to which she would give the coats. She found the Hillsides in Pasadena, Elizabeth House in Pasadena, the Foothill Unity Center in Monrovia and the Walking Shield-American Indian Society in Tustin. Lisa then outlined a plan to collect as many clean and reusable coats she could to donate to these worthy organizations.
Lisa made presentations to Glendale Elementary and Middle School faculties. She also spoke to her church membership and the local Kiwanis Club. As a result, collection boxes were placed in local businesses, in her church office and in school offices. She was also able to collect the unclaimed “lost and found” coats from a number of these same schools.
Lisa also contacted friends and relatives and received donations from as far away as Texas. She contacted the organizer of the local Arts and Crafts Festival and was given a booth from which to collect coats and hand out flyers advertising her collections points for future donations. This was the first time a complimentary booth was given for charity purposes during the history of the Festival.
During 2003, Lisa made weekly trips to her collection points, sorted all donated coats and jackets and washed those she was able to. She then boxed them for storage in preparation for delivery in the fall and winter. She started her distribution in October and the heaviest coats went to Walking Shield American Indian Society to be shipped to North Dakota. Deliveries continued to the Foothill Unity Center for their holiday distribution party. Lisa and some of the members of her Girl Scout troop handed out One Warm Coat to each child who attended. Collections and donations have continued and Lisa last distributed in February of 2004.
Lisa spent in excess of 104 hours planning and carrying out One Warm Coat. Her efforts to date have resulted in the collection of more than 1,300 donated coats, jackets and sweaters. Many who would have otherwise been greatly affected by the winter weather were able to feel warmth due to their One Warm Coat.