SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) – Black Friday marks the beginning of the annual One Warm Coat drive.
KTVU is a partner with the nationwide non-profit, which aims to give a free, warm coat to anyone in need.
On the day after Thanksgiving in the middle of Santana Row, surrounded by decked out dogs and trees, something simple yet special happened here in San Jose.
During the kick off of the One Warm Coat drive, 76-year-old Nina Russo took off the white sweatshirt she was wearing and put it in the donation bin.
“Because others need it more, that’s why. It’s very simple. Others need it more,” said Russo.
The reason this donation had extra meaning, was it happened right in front of Russo’s granddaughter, 9-year-old Gemma Snow who was volunteering with her Girl Scout Troop collecting donated coats.
“And she didn’t want to. She said, ‘No Nona–you need it!’ I said ‘No, I don’t need it. I don’t really need it,’” said Russo.
When asked what she would remember most about this day, Snow replied, “That my Nona donated a coat….because she did a good thing.”
A good thing as the holidays kick off. From cash donations to bags of coats, donor after donor told us it just feels good to give back. Including Eleni Armeniakos of San Jose, who decided to donate her blue sweater instead of exchanging it.
“When I saw this, my heart went to all those people, what happened with the fires,” said Armeniakos.
Organizers say some of the coats will go to fire victims, as well as many other Bay Area charities helping those in need.
For Russo, this Black Friday was all about a lesson in giving to those less fortunate.
“So if we can give back just a little, that’s a good thing,” said Russo.
The annual One Warm Coat drive is accepting new or gently used coats through December 31.
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