Mooresville family collects hundred of coats for kids in need

A Mooresville family has made it their mission to help others by hosting various fundraisers in honor of their son.

On Saturday, they surpassed their goal and collected more than 300 coats for kids in need.

Eight years ago, Kelly and James Ackerman lost their son, JJ (Joseph James Ackerman), due to a stillbirth.

The family received an outpouring of love and compassion following the loss of JJ, and each year they commemorate him through random acts of kindness.

“When we lost JJ, it was overwhelming and we always knew that we would want to somehow thank everyone for all the love and support they showed us during our hardest time while also celebrating JJ and his birthday,” Kelly Ackerman said.

Now every year on JJ’s birthday, the Ackerman family has done random acts of kindness in his name, and asked others to do the same.

Last year, the family wanted to turn their heartache into hope, so they collected coats for the annual Steve’s Coats for Kids campaign.

WSOC-TV’s Steve’s Coats for Kids campaign was introduced in 2005 and asks the community to donate new and lightly worn coats of all sizes.

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.

In 2020, the family set up boxes and had curbside collection of coats outside of their family home. They collected 175 coats.

The response was so great that this year they decided to move the collection to Mooresville High School, with a goal of 300 coats.

Friends, neighbors and strangers pulled up and helped the family achieve their goal, and they are still getting donations.

“We love Steve’s Coats for Kids, and we’ve always donated coats to it,” she said. “This is just a bigger and better way to do it.”

Steve’s Coats for Kids has collected nearly 250,000 coats, and every donated coat spends less than 48 hours in the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store before benefiting someone in need.

There are more than 100 Steve’s Coats for Kids donation locations across the Carolinas, including Arby’s, Ashley HomeStore, E.R. Plumbing Services, and all Charlotte fire stations.


Click here to find out more information and how you can get involved at

Steve’s Coats for Kids relies on the generous support of our community. If your organization or business would like to get involved or help with any WSOC-TV community campaign, please email your inquiry to Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV public affairs manager, at