Homeless Residents will be Warmer Thanks to Coat Donations

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Winter's cold bite is definitely in the air, but some of Lincoln's most vulnerable residents will now be a little warmer.

For mom of three and People's City Mission resident Lakota Granger, the 1,600 coats donated by Lincoln residents are a warm sight.

She and her kids had to move suddenly from Illinois and their winter weather gear was left behind.

Granger says, "I was like, how am I going to get coats? I don't have a job, I have to find a job. When they told me they were having a coat thing, I was like yes! So the worries are over, I'm calm now."

The 1,600 jackets came from donations through Raising Cane's 6th annual Raising Coats event.

More than 7,000 coats have been collected since 2006.

President Justin Jones says, "It's been great to know that we have the opportunity to help people and to be able to use our business to support those in the community."

The People's City Mission is handing out the coats.

Pastor Tom Barber says for many of the city's homeless, a good coat is the difference between life and death.

Barber says, "They're out in the bad weather, the inclement weather a lot more and so a coat is a really, really important item because they might be outside for a long time and so coats keeping you warm is a very, very critical thing. These are life-saving, literally."

Barber says you can tell how mission residents feel about the coats by the looks on their faces, and for families like Lakota and her kids, it's the promise of a warmer winter to come.

She says, "It's a good feeling because you know someone out there really cares and that they're thinking about the children, that's the most important thing."

Residents didn't just give jackets.

They also had the option to round up their purchases at Raising Cane's restaurants.

Jones says, "With people rounding up literally pennies at a time, we were able to raise almost $500 in cash to be able to buy some of those additional coats that are usually a little bit harder to come by, the 3XL and 4XL coats."

The coats will go to residents at the mission and be handed out through the Homeless Prevention Center.

Barber says they'll all be gone within the week.