Making a difference, one coat at a time

SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Selma family is hoping a coat drive will make a difference this winter.

On a rack displayed at the Rodriguez home, you'll find about forty coats. Jessica Rodriguez and her husband are asking for coats of all shapes and sizes. It's the first coat drive they've ever organized. It's an idea that came from their son James - a high school graduate who was buying clothes for college. "He actually bought this jacket for me to give to someone this winter. And that's how it started. Him thinking of someone else. in the process of buying his clothes," said Jessica Rodriguez.

They're starting small in Selma with boxes at just four shops around town. "It's just something that's needed out there. And we're hoping that if this works out we can expand it to other communities," said Rodriguez.

But the empty boxes aren't all that needs to be filled. Jessica's heart feels pretty empty these days too. You see, James was the beginning and the end. He bought the jacket that started the coat drive. Sadly it as the last thing James ever bought. He died the same day an aortic aneurysm. "If they would have found it, he wouldn't have survived because it was so large," said Jessica Rodriguez.

He's been gone for three months, but he's still alive in small moments. "Either it's a song...or something that we feel that's him with us. And I tell her that's a sign he's with us," said James' father Romulo Rodriguez Jr.

So now, the coats warm their hearts on the hard days. And they hope they'll warm someone else on cold days too.

The Rodriguez family said they don't want any money. They want people to buy a coat in James' memory.

Donate at one of these locations:

Shear Magic - 2742 Whitson Street, Selma

Max's Brunch House Cafe - 1957 High Street, Selma

Selma Trophy Shop - 2001 2nd Street, Selma

Rodriguez House - 1266 Rose Avenue, Selma

Yogy-O-Gurt - 2874 McCall Avenue, Selma
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