A local foundation has pledged to help an effort, undertaken by a Sioux City man, to give winter coats to elementary school students, who may not have one.
Donor Marv Berenstein's goal is simple. "I would like to give the money away while I'm alive," said Marv Berenstein, Berenstein Family Foundation. Berenstein founded the Berenstein Family Foundation ten years ago to fund local charities. "I always wanted to help needy children," said Berenstein.
Berenstein recalls a little boy he passed on the street while on his way to work nearly 20 years ago. "He didn't have a coat on. He was in a t-shirt. It was November. And, he had to be freezing his ears off," said Berenstein.
Enter Chuck Swaggerty-Morgan, and the winter coat drive he started in 2016. "He's a wonderful, wonderful advocate," said Berenstein. "Out of the goodness of his heart, he started this, last year."
Berenstein saw an opportunity to help. His foundation, working with the Sioux City Community School District's "Family to Family" committee, will donate money to the committee to buy coats for Swaggerty-Morgan's coat drive. But, that's not all. "We're also going to make a matching proposal up to a certain amount," said Berenstein. "And, we'll match that."
The help is needed. Last year, Swaggerty-Morgan bought coats for five Sioux City elementary schools. This year eight schools need coats for their kids. A challenge graciously accepted. "We pledge to pay back, and we're trying to," said Berenstein.
Already Chuck Swaggerty-Morgan has bought, and donated, 50 coats to Irving Elementary. This week, he dropped off another 40 coats at Hunt Elementary, and 30 coats at Bryant Elementary.
If you'd like to help out, and maybe buy a coat or two, you can call Chuck Swaggerty-Morgan at his business, the Whistle Stop Antique Shop, here in Sioux City, at (712) 224-2088.