LBHS coat drive brings community warmth and connection

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Long Beach High School junior Danielle Breen organized a coat drive in December through her involvement in the Key Club, with support from students and teachers. The initiative was named, “Unzip Your Hearts,” and provided coat donations to the Long Beach Martin Luther King Center, Inc. to help keep others warm this winter.

“I felt excited that I was giving back to my community, but it turned out to be much more than that,” Danielle said. “Seeing people I have never met and my close friends donating coats to the coat drive I organized was an emotional and joyful experience. I never imagined how inspirational this whole project was.” She noted that the inspiration continued when she met the MLK Center’s Board of Directors Chair, James Hodge, and witnessed his devotion to the center and people of Long Beach while delivering the coats.  

Many generous individuals contributed coats to this effort, and one even included a note. “That coat made me realize that there are so many people out there that care and how important giving back to the community really is,” said Danielle.