Charlotte middle school student close to zipping up 500 coat goal for kids in need

Charlotte middle school student close to zipping up 500 coat goal for kids in need

For an eight-grade student, Mika Ohin has some big goals. His goals aren’t focused on himself but on how he can help others.

Ohin wants to collect 500 coats for WSOC-TV’s annual Steve’s Coats for Kids drive.

“Some people here in Charlotte are struggling with poverty, and they can't really afford the things that their kids need,” Ohin said. “Just because knowing how many people out there actually need help in the wintertime.”

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WSOC-TV's Steve’s Coats for Kids campaign was introduced in 2005. All coat donations are distributed through Crisis Assistance Ministry, an independent nonprofit agency focused on preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for Charlotte-Mecklenburg's working poor.

Ohin is a student at Piedmont Middle School in Charlotte, and he has created an entire marketing plan for his school. He passed out flyers to parents who pick up their students, does announcements on the school’s morning news and coordinates with the school staff to send out email alerts to parents.

This isn’t the first time that he has tried to help the less fortunate. Ohin also volunteers at homeless shelters.

“Mika’s always out trying to help other people, which is pretty evident with the project that he's overtaken right now,” said Bradyn Monismith, assistant principal at Piedmont Middle School.

This is the sixth year that students at Piedmont Middle School have collected coats for Steve’s Coats for Kids.

Monismith said that the culture of the school since 1925 has been to give back to others and the giving spirit is ingrained in the staff and students.

“We care for the whole child,” Monismith said. “When they get out of here, we want the kids to take that spirit with them to high school and to the rest their lives. I think that's just as important as the education they're getting.”

Many of the students at Piedmont have developed a love for doing good deeds for others. Ohin’s focus on giving back started in sixth grade when he helped the homeless. The culmination of his caring spirit has come together for his Steve’s Coats for Kids project.

This young man encourages everyone to help improve the city.

“Try donating to a cause or grab your neighborhood all together and just start raising things for group,” Ohin said. “Rope in people from other communities. It's a great way of getting to know each other and trying to benefit your community.”

Right now, Ohin has collected over 300 coats and is over halfway to his goal of collecting 500.

His actions show that he continues to help others, and that, regardless of your age, anyone can make a real difference in the community.

You can donate new or gently used coats at any area Showmars, Ashley HomeStore, E.R. Plumbing Services and all Charlotte Fire Stations.

Learn more about how your donation can impact the community at www.StevesCoatsForKids.com.

If you have an inspiring story, please contact Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte Public Affairs Manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.