Warmth for Winter

Generosity Brings New Coats for Students, Staff at John Early Museum Magnet Middle
Posted on 02/10/2022
student trying on coat with mother

John Early Museum Magnet Middle School’s Community Achieves Manager, Malik Yant, had a vision not just to make sure all 220 students received brand-new coats but to ensure faculty and staff stayed warm this winter as well. student trying on coat at school

“I’m a visionary person, and I knew in the fall that it was going to be cold soon, so I wanted to get coats for students and coats for those on the front lines of education,” Yant said during a coat giveaway event at the school on Wednesday.

While at a local event in Nashville last fall, Yant struck up a conversation with Brigette Jones, and they began to discuss the needs of the school. With winter around the corner, coats for students became the top priority.

Jones made some phone calls, and soon a representative from one of the world’s leading clothing brands, Tommy Hilfiger, reached out to Yant. Within a month, coats began arriving at John Early.

“I was excited and grateful that they contacted me, but I wasn’t shocked or surprised. I was impressed and felt a sense of satisfaction when the shipment of boxes started rolling in,” Yant said. “I was like, ‘OK, wow, it's actually happening.’ ”

In addition to the 200-plus coats donated by Tommy Hilfiger, Jackson Street Church of Christ in Nashville also contributed over 200 coats.

“Ms. Renee Tomlinson and her team from Jackson Street was instrumental in getting coats for our students as well, and we appreciate them greatly,” said Yant.

With over 400 coats donated to the students, faculty and staff, Yant is planning to provide the remaining ones to siblings of the John Early students. “I don’t just want to serve our students, I want to serve their families,” he said.

Any leftover coats will be placed in the Jaguar clothing closet at the school for future distribution as needed.

Assistant Principal Dr. Deatrice Swett helped pass out coats to energetic and appreciative sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders on Wednesday. She said the donations make a big difference.

“For us to be able to provide coats for all our students, especially those who did not have what they needed, helps even the playing field for everyone,” Dr. Swett said. “Everyone will be warm whether waiting at the bus stop or walking to school. This is truly a blessing.”

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