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Boy Offers Free Coats On Trenton Streets

CBS Philadelphia logoCBS Philadelphia 2/7/2019 Syndicated Local – CBS Philly
a sign on the side of a building: Sandro Cunningham © Provided by Local News RSS EN-US Sandro Cunningham

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – A New Jersey boy is getting up very early to warm up some strangers, by putting out coats that are meant to be taken away.

As the sun’s coming up one chilly morning, 9-year-old Sandro Cunningham is already hard at work. He and his dad Edward are unpacking bags of coats. Some of the coats are new, some are used.

“I just don’t want the coats to have holes in them,” Sandro said, “and they’re very warm.”

Sandro will leave the coats outside on a rack all day for anyone to take. “Zero dollars, free!” Sandro said.

He calls it Sandro’s Coat Rack. He had the idea three years ago, at age 6.

“My mom was watching the news one night and I saw the less fortunate without a coat,” Sandro said.

Sandro started collecting coats. First a few, then bags full. He and dad built the outdoor rack.

“We’re all equal,” Edward said. “That’s not separated by who has what and who doesn’t.”

Sandro’s Coat Rack now stands across the street from the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.

“That’s good,” said Pervis Upshur of Trenton, “taking donations from people. And you got all kind of people out that come out here.”

Sandro promotes the project on social media. Nearly a thousand people have already “liked” his Facebook page. Donations keep coming in.

Soup kitchen employee Antoine Dennis is impressed by this big idea from a young kid. “Got me involved, wanting to bring some coats down here, so kudos to you, little fellow.”

Now word is spreading about Sandro’s Coat Rack and its simple mission.

J Steinhauer, who runs Trenton Area Soup Kitchen’s community relations, said Sandro has “given away hundreds of coats away for the coat rack, so it’s just an incredible feat.”

“And the best part about it,” Sandro said, “anyone can do it.”

Sandro would love to see others take his idea and run with it.

To reach Sandro and his family on Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/Sandros-Coat-Rack-1841274202826690/.

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